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^he Qorrespondence of Samuel 'Sutler 
with His Sister <JMay 


of Samuel '\Butler 

with His Sister <iMay 


University of Qalifornia Tress 

"Berkeley and Los JLngeles 












■Q^ For M.K.H. G^ 



Without trying to reproduce in print the vagaries of manu- 
script, I have transcribed these letters exactly and made minor 
corrections only when an overliteral transcription would in- 
terfere with the reader's convenience. I have, for example, 
silently supplied the ends of parentheses and quotation marks, 
and capitalized the beginnings of sentences, but only when 
even such minor emendations were necessary to make the 
sense clear. I have also regularized all headings and paragraph 
indentations, and consistently run complimentary endings, 
except the last phrase, into the body of the letters. 

I have enclosed in pointed brackets ( > phrases which in the 
original letters are overscored but recoverable ; frequently such 
phrases suggest interesting alternative thoughts in the writer's 

I have not attempted to indicate the process by which I have 
identified many of the people whom Butler mentions in the 
letters, but where a positive identification is made it has been 
verified. All references to Butler's published works, unless 
otherwise specified, are to the twenty-volume Shrewsbury 
Edition edited by Henry Festing Jones and A. T. Bartholomew 
(London and New York, 1923-192^). In citations where no 
place of publication is indicated, London is to be understood. 


Because there is not yet a definitive edition of Butler's 
Notebooks, and the text of the pubHshed selections is often 
corrupt, I have cited and occasionally quoted from the manu- 
script of the Notebooks in the Chapin Library at Williams- 
town, Massachusetts; but for the convenience of the reader I 
have also cited published selections from the Notebooks if they 
contain substantially the same material. (For a discussion of 
the differences between the manuscript and the printed ver- 
sions, see Lee Elbert Holt, "The Note-Books of Samuel But- 
ler," PMLA, 60 [1945], 11^5-1179.) 

I am particularly grateful to Sir Geoffrey Keynes and Brian 
Hill for their great personal kindness to me and for permission 
to publish this correspondence. 

Mrs. Donald E. Richmond, formerly Custodian of the 
Chapin Library, first encouraged my explorations of the 
Butler manuscripts in her charge, and she has furthered my 
work at every stage. I am grateful also to H. Richard Archer, 
the present Custodian of the Library, for his generous as- 

I am indebted to the following persons for their kind as- 
sistance on various problems: Lord Bridges; Professor Geoffrey 
Tillotson; John McKenzie of the British Museum Manuscript 
Room ; G. J. Merson, Vicar of Granby, Nottinghamshire ; Mrs. 
Henry W. Howell, Jr., Librarian of the Frick Art Reference 
Library, New York City; Professor Ellis Waterhouse, the 
Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham; John E. C. Dakin, 
Rector of Langar, Nottinghamshire; Dr. Diehl, Stadt-und 
Universitatsbibliothek, Frankfurt am Main; Heinrich Ni- 
decker, Offentliche Bibliothek der Universitat, Basel; and 
Margaret Jadot of the British Museum staff. 

Without the good taste and keen eyesight of Grace Wilson, 
my editor at the University of California Press, and of C. F. 
Main and Paul Fussell, Jr., my colleagues at Rutgers, this book 
would be faultier than it is. My greatest debt is to Professor 
Gordon Haight, who generously read the manuscript at a 
time when he himself was most pressed; without him it could 
not be. 

New Brunswick, N. J. D.F.H. 



List of Letters and Postcards, xi 

Abbreviations, xv 

Biographical Sketches, xvii 

Introduction, 3 

Letters, 35 

Index, 24^ 




Written from 



August 10, 1855 





February 5, 1857 





September 27, 1859 





[ca. March 21, 1861] 


[New Zealand] 



September 24, 1866 





October 4, 1866 





January 30, 1867 





August 30, 1868 





July 4, [1869] 





March 20, 1870 





[July, 1870] 





July 8, 1872 





February 23, 1873 





March 2, 1873 


Mentone, [France] 



March 12, 1873 





March 24, [1873] 





August 5, 1873 





November 12, 1873 





June 20, [1874] 


[En route to 



August 13, 1875 


[En route to 



June 2, 1876 


Faido, [Switzerland] 



March 27, 1878 





July 22, 1878 


Faido, Switzerland 



October 21, 1878 





January 18, 1879 







Written from 



February 11, 1879 





March 14, 1879 





July 31, 1879 





August 21, 1879 





March 12, 1880 





May 3, 1880 





June 10, 1880 





June 29, 1880 





July 16, 1880 


Sant' Ambrogio, 



November 22, 1880 





February 27, 1881 





April 22, 1 88 1 





December 10, 1881 





December 17, 188 1 





March 4, 1882 





August 30, 1882 


Aosta, [Italy] 



March ij, 1883 





March 29, 1883 





September 11, [1883] 





September 12, 1883 





November i, 1883 





December 6, [1883] 





December 24, 1883 





January 9, 1884 





January 16, 1884 





January 20, 1884 





[February i, 1884] 





February 12, 1884 





February 22, 1884 





April 9, 1884 





May 5, 1884 





May 13, 1884 





May 29, 1884 





June 20, 1884 





August 6, [1884] 





September 7, 1884 





December 20, 1884 





December 30, 1884 





February i, 1885 





March 4, 1885 





April 2, 1885 





April 15, 1885 





June 30, 1885 







July 24, 1885 
August 23, 1885 

Author Written from 

71. September 9, 1885 

72. October 12, 1885 

73. October 21, [i88j] 

74. December 22, 188 j 

75. December 29, 1885 

76. January 18, 1886 
7j. March 24, 1886 
78. May 27, 1886 
y^. June 3, 1886 

80. July 21, 1886 

81. [August, 1886] 

82. September 9, 1886 

83. September 13, 1886 








October i, 1886 
October 2, 1886 
October 10, 1886 
October 19, 1886 
October 30, 1886 
November 4, 1886 
November 9, 1886 
November 10, [1886] 
[November 30, 1886] 
November 30, 1886 
December i, 1886 
December i, [1886] 
December i, 1886 
December 2, 1886 
[December 4, 1886] 
December 7, 1886 
December 8, 1886 
December 8, 1886 
December 11, 1886 
December 12, 1886 
December 13, [1886] 
December 16, 1886 
[December 22, 1886] 
December 23, 1886 
March 27, 1887 
December 13, 1887 
November 12, 1888 






























Varallo Sesia, 
Varese, Italy 

Faido, Switzerland 




























Written from 



January 13, 1889 





July I, 1889 





March 6, 1890 





September 18, 1890 


Carate, [Italy] 



February 14, 1891 





[Mid-August, 1 891] 


Bormio, Italy 



September 30, 1891 





January 18, 1892 





February 27, 1892 





April 25, 1892 





April 26, 1892 





May 22, 1892 





June 18, 1892 





August 10, X894 


Trapani, [Italy] 



January 25, 1895 





March 15, 1895 





November 26, 1895 





April 28, 1897 





[May 24, 1897] 





June 17, 1897 





October 26, [1898] 





January 4, [1899] 





January 5, 1899 





May 15, [1899] 





June 26, 1899 


Shere, [England] 



July 24, 1899 





October 10, 1899 





April 16, 1900 


Taormina, Sicily 



May 6, 1900 





June 3, [1900] 


Sant' Ambrogio, 



July 2, [1900] 





October 24, 1900 





February 5, [1901] 





October 21, 1901 





January 6, [1902] 





February 17, 1902 





April 17, [1902] 





April 18, 1902 





April 19, [1902] 





April 21, [1902] 





April 22, [1902] 





May 14, [1902] 





May 16, 1902 






Alumni Cantahrigienses 


Butler-Savage Letters 

Further Extracts 



Alumni Cantabrigienses, compiled by 
John Venn and J. A. Venn (Cam- 
bridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1922— 

Frederic Boase, Modern English Biog- 
raphy, 6 vols. (Truro: Netherton, 

Letters Between Samuel Butler and 
Miss E. M. A. Savage (1871-188^), 
ed. by Geoffrey Keynes and Brian Hill 
(London: Jonathan Cape, 1935). 
Butleriana, ed. by A. T. Bartholomew 
(London: Nonesuch Press, 1932). 
Further Extracts from the Note-Books 
of Samuel Butler, ed. by A. T. Bar- 
tholomew (London: Jonathan Cape, 

Mrs. R. S. Garnett [Martha (Roscoe) 
Garnett], Samuel Butler and His Fam- 
ily Relations (London: J. M. Dent; 
New York: E. P. Button, 1926). 
A. J. Hoppe, A Bibhography of the 
"Writings of Samuel Butler and of the 
Writings About Him (London: Book- 
man's Journal, 1925). 


MS Notebooks 

Shrewsbury Edition 

Shrewsbury Note-Books 

Six volumes, bound by Butler, now in 
the Chapin Library, "Williamstown, 

Henry Festing Jones, Samuel Butler, 
Author of Erewhon (1^35-1^02): A 
Memoir, 2 vols. (London and New 
York: Macmillan, 19 19). 
The Collected Works of Samuel Butler, 
ed. by Henry Festing Jones and A. T. 
Bartholomew, 20 vols. (London: Jona- 
than Cape; New York: E. P. Dutton, 

The Note-Books of Samuel Butler, 
Shrewsbury Edition, Vol. XX. 
The Times, London. 




ALFRED EMERY CATHIE (18^3-1939?), his manscrvant 
whom he engaged in January, 1887. Alfred took it upon him- 
self to shape his employer to his idea of a gentleman, and 
Butler treated him with affectionate condescension. (See "Al- 
fred" in Butleriana, pp. 12 8- 141.) 

CHARLES GOGiN (1844-1931), a regular exhibitor at the 
Royal Academy from 1874 to 1885, and Butler's most trusted 
authority on matters of art. He drew the human figures in 
most of Butler's paintings, and his portrait of Butler, painted 
in 189^, is in the National Portrait Gallery. A collection of 
unpublished letters from Butler to Gogin is in the Chapin 
Library, Williamstown, Massachusetts. 

HENRY FESTING JONES (1851-1928), his closcst friend, 
later his biographer. Jones took his B.A. at Trinity Hall, 
Cambridge, in 1873, and was admitted a solicitor in 187^ — the 
same year in which he met Butler. In 188^ Butler gave Jones 
an allowance of £200 a year so that he could give up the law 
and become his adviser and companion. They frequently 
traveled abroad and collaborated on several pieces of Handel- 
inspired music. (See "Jones and Myself" in Butleriana, pp. 
1 01-120; and Jones's Memoir,) 


CHARLES PAINE PAULi (1838-1897), an intimate friend in 
the *6o*s. Butler first met him in New Zealand, urged him to 
return to London with him, and there granted him an allow- 
ance of £200 a year, which he continued to pay till Pauli's 
death, despite his own straitened circumstances and the in- 
creasing coldness of their relationship. Butler idealized Pauli 
because of his unaffected elegance and suavity (he is the model 
for Towneley in The Way of All Flesh) ; his first book on 
evolution. Life and Habit (1878), is dedicated to him. (See 
"Charles Paine Pauli and Butler" in Butler iana, pp. 39-9^.) 

ELIZA MARY ANN SAVAGE (d. 1885) , his literary confidante, 
whom he first met about 18^8 when they were both art stu- 
dents at Heatherley*s School in London. She often discussed 
literary matters with Butler, and encouraged him to write 
novels. After she died in 1885, Butler dedicated Gavottes, 
Minuets, Fugues (1885) to her, and then began to reproach 
himself severely for having been indifferent toward her; in 
1 90 1 he wrote a series of embarrassingly personal sonnets in 
the style of Shakespeare about their relationship. (See Butler - 
Savage Letters.) 


DR. SAMUEL BUTLER (1774-1839), his grandfather, head- 
master of Shrewsbury School, 179 8-18 3 6, then bishop of 
Lichfield and Coventry. (See The Life and Letters of Dr. 
Samuel Butler, Shrewsbury Edition, Vols. X-XL) 

THOMAS BUTLER (i8o^-i886), his father, student of 
classics at St. John's College, Cambridge (B.A. 1829), then 
rector of Langar-cum-Barnston, Nottinghamshire; he retired 
to Shrewsbury in 1876. (See "Father and Son" in Butleriana, 
PP- 25-33.) 

FANNY BUTLER (1808-1873), nee Worsley, his mother, the 
third daughter of Philip John Worsley, a sugar refiner of 
Bristol. She married Thomas Butler in 1 8 3 1 . 

HARRIET (harrie) BRIDGES (1834-1918), me Butler, his 


older sister. She married George Lovibond Bridges (brother of 
Robert Bridges, later poet laureate) in 1859, and when he 
died shortly afterward she went to live with the Bridges 
family on the Isle of Wight. She joined her father and May 
in Shrewsbury in 1879 and lived there for the rest of her life. 

MARY (may) butler (1841-1916), his younger sister, the 
only one of the Butler children to continue to make her home 
with their father and mother. After her mother's death in 
1873 she assumed the responsibility of her father's household; 
she stayed on in Shrewsbury with Harrie after his death. 

THOMAS BUTLER, II ( 1 837- 1 884), his brother. Tom 
attended St. John's College, Cambridge, but left without 
taking a degree. He married Henrietta Rigby (by whom he 
had four children) , deserted her, disappeared, and was dis- 
covered in 1880 to be living with another woman in Brussels. 
Then he left Brussels, and word of his death on Corsica in 
November, 1884, reached England early in 1885. Tom and 
his father disliked each other intensely, and he found little 
favor with the other members of his family, including Butler. 

Butler's Nieces and Nephews (Tom's Children) 

CHARLES. Married Alice Leamar, but quickly separated 
from her; then, restive in several posts as a clerk in London, 
he joined the Greek army, and to the surprise of his family 
succeeded as a career officer. 

ELIZABETH (elsie). Married Richard Burton Phillipson. 

HENRY (HAL or HARRY ) . Married Ada Wheeler, emigrated 
to Florida. He was the chief beneficiary of Butler's estate, and 
he returned to live in England after his uncle's death. 

MARY (maysie), favorite niece of May and Harriet. She 
spent considerable time with them at Shrewsbury. 

Butler's Maternal Relatives 

PHILIP WORSLEY (1802-1893), brother of Butler's mother. 
He married Annie Taylor ( 1 8o^-i 877) , by whom he had five 


children, of whom the following were particular friends of 
Butler and May: 


REGINALD, a Very close friend of Butler's, one of the 
executors of his will. 



Brother and sisters of Butler's mother. 
All lived at Clifton, Bristol. 



What a lot I have written about my 
books — but then my books are to Tne m^uch 
the most mportant thing in life. They in 
fact are ^^me" much more than anything 
else is. 

— ^Butler to May, February i, 1884 


After Samuel Butler returned from New Zealand in 18^4 and 
settled in rooms in Clifford's Inn, Fleet Street, he set aside part 
of each day for writing letters. He maintained his routine for 
thirty-eight years, till his death in 1902, and toward the end 
of his life began to collect and arrange what had become an 
enormous correspondence. After his death, Henry Festing 
Jones used the collection of letters to compile a massive 
biography,^ and afterward bound it into sixteen large volumes, 
which later were given to the British Museum by Butler's 
present literary executors. Sir Geoffrey Keynes and Brian 
Hill.^ The great bulk of the existing correspondence is now 
in these volumes in the Museum, but only a small part of it has 
ever been published, and that mostly in the form of excerpts 
which Jones used in his biography. 

Keynes and Hill published Butler's complete correspondence 
with Miss Savage in 193^, but public response was slight, and 
nothing else appeared for twenty-five years. The public had 
no curiosity about new biographical material because Jones's 
biography, which had appeared at the height of Butler's 
reputation in 19 19, had seemed so complete. Yet with the best 
intentions, Jones had selected the facts so that the figure 

^Memoir, 2 vols. (19 19). 

'See "Distribution of Samuel Butler Manuscripts: New Gift to the British 
Museum." Times Literary Supplement, November 23, 1935, p. 764. 

which emerged from his pages was the Butler he wanted to 
remember, an exclusively aggressive, iconoclastic intellectual. 
It was a portrait that Butler himself encouraged, but it was 
only a part — albeit an important part — of the whole man. 

Because Jones presented a stereotype of Butler and pre- 
sented it reverentially, the course of Butler criticism after 
1 9 19 turned toward partisan quarreling. There were those who 
believed in the accuracy of Jones's portrait and admired the 
one-sided figure he presented, and there were those who also 
believed in its accuracy but reacted strongly against such a 
figure. The result was that, with the exception of Bernard 
Shaw, who read Butler carefully and admired him in spite of 
the deficiencies which he saw very clearly,^ Butler suffered 
as much from his friends' uncritical enthusiasm as his enemies' 
attacks. To both he became a depthless symbol of anti- 
Victorianism destined to survive no longer than anti-Vic- 
torianism itself. By 193^ he seemed a ghost from another age, 
and Malcolm Muggeridge, examining the spectre with disgust, 
dispatched it once and for all.* In an angry book, the style of 
which Butler himself would have admired, Muggeridge de- 
stroyed the image of the social liberal which Butler's friends 
had created (ironically, just as the Erewhonians had trans- 
formed Higgs into the god Sunchild after he left Erewhon) . 
In place of the fiery iconoclast, Muggeridge revealed a stodgy 
believer in all the reactionary political and economic institu- 
tions of Victorian England; he made clear what an intelligent 
reader should have admitted at once — that Butler was hardly 
the same kind of revolutionary as Karl Marx, one of his fellow 
readers in the Reading Room of the Museum. Indeed, though 
Butler's life (183 5-1902) happened to coincide with one of 
the greatest eras of social reform in the history of England, 
he loudly opposed every measure of it. Nevertheless, with the 
support of Jones's Memoir^ it had been easy for Butler's 
friends to misinterpret his lifelong fight against cant and 

' Shaw's most judicious appraisal is his introduction to the World's Classics 

edition of The Way of All Flesh (1936). See also his preface to Back to Methuselah. 

* The Earnest Atheist: A Study of Samuel Butler (Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1936). 

hypocrisy as a crusade for liberal modernism, and when Mug- 
geridge shattered this image it was difficult to see that he had 
not seriously damaged the real Butler at all. After 1936 the 
task was to recreate a far more complex figure than the one 
that had been destroyed, and it was begun in two excellent 
studies, by P. N. Furbank {Samuel Butler [Cambridge: Cam- 
bridge Univ. Press, 1948]), and Philip Henderson {Samuel 
Butler: The Incarnate Bachelor [Cohen and West, 1953]), 
who shunned the partisan quarrel based on the old image of 
Butler and set to work, using all the available manuscript 
materials, to recover an almost lost Victorian. These letters to 
May are a further adjustment of the balance. 

The fuller picture of Butler contained in the complete May 
correspondence stands in sharp contrast to the stereotype pro- 
duced by Jones's selection from the May letters available to 
him. In using Letter 5^ (May 5, 1884), for example, Jones 
omitted the first paragraph — perhaps out of embarrassment, 
for Butler says that he hopes May "liked Jones but we are 
afraid by your going away without wanting to say good 
bye to him that he had not made so deep an impression as he 
could have wished." Now Jones does not claim that the letter 
is complete, and the fact that May seemed unimpressed with 
him is no doubt irrelevant to his biography of Butler (though 
his standards of relevancy are not always so strict) , but what 
he conceals — not only here but consistently throughout the 
Memoir — is that Butler was extremely sensitive to his sister's 
opinions, that he cared very much what she thought of him 
and his friends. Jones also frequently changed the tone of the 
May letters by omitting passages that did not fit his concep- 
tion of his friend. He gladly printed the part of the letter of 
June 30, 1885, in which Butler reports a belligerent encounter 
with Grant Allen, a friend of Darwin's and thus a ^'particular 
foe," but he left out the first paragraph, in which the dom- 
inant tone of the whole letter is set. In it Butler asks May to 
see if his father "can give me a bed for a few days on Tuesday 
[July] 14th till the following Saturday. If he can I will come 

down. Not that I have any thing to say or business of any 
kind but I shall be going somewhere for my holiday at the 
end of the month or early in next and unless I go then shall 
not be able to do so for some time." By omitting this, Jones 
emphasizes Butler's proud antagonism toward the Darwin 
group — which fits his conception of him as a crusader — and 
conceals the fact that at this time in his life Butler was not 
campaigning against his father but quietly proposing a four- 
day visit with him for no particular reason at all. The point is 
not that one regrets that Jones left too much out of the 
Memoir — quite the contrary — but that the pattern of what he 
chose to leave out gives the reader an elaborately documented 
view of a trivial man seen always in the posture of a hero. 

In their entirety, the May letters present Butler during forty- 
seven years of his life, from the time he was a Cambridge 
undergraduate to within a month of his death, and show him 
in many moods in the midst of an incredible number of 
interests. Their style is unaffectedly direct, even more informal 
than that of his books, about which he wanted it clearly un- 
derstood that he had never taken the smallest pains to make 
a "style," but "just common straightforwardness." Charac- 
teristically he assumed a direct personal relationship with his 
reader, and this is even more evident in his letters to May. He 
knew that she wanted to hear what he had to say — whether or 
not she agreed with it — and he wasted little time in justifying 
what he had been doing or in laying the groundwork for some 
elaborate arguments ; instead he concentrated on reporting the 
circumstances in which he developed his ideas, the day-to-day 
details out of which his books grew. Thus the letters contain 
a great many biographical details and offer an insight into the 
way he saw and used the materials around him. 

Letter 23 (July 22, 1878), for example, shows him caught 
up and fascinated by a remarkable variety of things. Just 
two weeks earlier, tired and discouraged by his inability to 
finish The Way of All Flesh, he had left London and gone to 
Switzerland to recoup his spirits.^ Since then, he tells her, he 

^Letter to Miss Savage, July 2, 1878. Butler-Savage Letters, p. 188. 

has found the subject of his "magnum opus" of the summer 
(there is no evidence that he had previously intended a mag- 
num opus) ; it is to be a series of sketches of the frescoes in a 
nearby church. Later, his enthusiasm for this project grew, 
and his conception of the opus developed into the book Alps 
and Sanctuaries, which included not only his sketches of these 
frescoes but accounts and drawings of other religious folk art 
of the Alps. In the same letter he tells May that he has been 
reading Disraeli's novels, has been weighing the lesson that his 
later novels offer about the sparing use of epigrams. He says 
that he has been thinking about Ruskin's Seven Lamps of 
Architecture, a book which May is reading and which he re- 
members liking when he was an undergraduate. He has also re- 
turned to look at a clump of woodsia which he had discovered 
the week before growing vigorously in an unsheltered spot, 
and, finding them all killed by the heat, he speculates on the 
limits of freedom within which an organism can choose its 
environment. In this one letter, then, he is painter, novelist, 
literary critic, natural scientist — some of the many roles he 
played in his long career. But at the same time he is not limited 
to any one of these roles: at no time does he think exclusively 
as a painter, or as a scientist, but always as the enthusiastic, 
knowledgeable amateur, delighted as much by the comedy of 
the pigeons that keep wandering into his room as by the ques- 
tion of natural selection that the woodsia raise. 

Sometimes his catholic interests and his insistence upon not 
limiting his response within any one frame of reference — 
pictoral, novelistic, scientific — show up less happily. Butler's 
letters show that in his running feud with Darwin his re- 
fusal to confine his involvement to matters of scientific theory 
leads him to assume that his theory of evolution is inseparable 
from himself and that anyone who attacks it attacks him. His 
concern for the scientific issues does not wholly disappear, but 
the issues become much too emotionally charged to be settled; 
he comes to argue as much about Darwin's personal honesty 
and morality as he does about the validity of his theory. By 
1885 the quarrel is so much a part of his everyday life that he 

sees sinister plots all around him. When he tells May about 
Edward Clodd's invitation to dinner it is "a plant to bring me 
and one of my particular foes . . . together." ^ 

What we see in his letters during the time he was actively 
working out his theory of evolution is the development of an 
all-consuming personal involvement from what was initially 
abstract scientific speculation. Here, his personal intensity was 
not appropriate to the quarrel about evolutionary theory, and 
it served only to obscure the valuable contribution he might 
have made, but when he applied the same intensity to other 
matters he sometimes fused ideas that are ordinarily discrete 
into highly imaginative syntheses. In Erewhon, for example, 
he created a fictional world based upon a similarity he saw 
between the evolution of man and that of the machine. In 
The Way of All Flesh he saw the progress of a young man 
toward maturity, with varying success, as a horticultural 
hybridization, as a giant lottery, and as a financial speculation. 
As long as he was creating an imaginary world, Butler's habit 
of blending many kinds of experience worked brilliantly; in 
real life his difficulty was that he could not maintain the 
necessary distance from his subject matter. The metaphors 
he proposed grew more and more literal, until as far as he 
was concerned the two things which he had begun by com- 
paring became identical. When, for example, he first reread 
the Odyssey he saw with his keen common sense that the con- 
cept of heroism in the poem and its treatment of the wonders 
of war were like those of a woman who dreamed of adventure 
but lived in a world of domestic detail. As a critical idea this 
brought into focus the unique combination in the Odyssey of 
the great and the small, of the distant myth-like descriptions 
of Odysseus's deeds and the detailed inventory of household 
utensils, the vaguely seen marvels Odysseus struggles with, 
and the precise directions for building a raft or slaughtering 
a bullock. Butler's idea was capable of considerable develop- 
ment, but he could not be satisfied with it merely as a critical 
idea, as a perceptive analogy; soon he was arguing for it as 
literal truth. The tone of his reports to May about the theory 

•June 30, 1885 (Letter 68). 

begins to change: a woman actually did write the Odyssey, 
he insists; she disguised herself as Nausicaa in the poem, and 
in real life she lived in a particular town, which Butler located 
in Sicily, and at a particular time, which he also determined. 
In his letters, Butler moves away from an interest in the 
imaginative truth that his analogy contains to an insistence 
upon a literal absurdity. When he writes in August, 1891, he 
has just reread the Odyssey and begun to translate it. He 
tells May how appealing the poem is: "The more I see of the 
Odyssey the better I like it — it is wonderful, but nothing can 
well be more franchement bourgeois and unheroic." In Janu- 
ary, his translation completed, his attention has turned to 
locating, exactly, the land of the Phaeacians, and his "great 
triumph" comes in the map room of the British Museum: he 
finds the place "just nine or ten miles north of Marsala — 
every condition absolutely fulfilled, and nothing like it any- 
where else. So I no longer have any shadow of doubt about my 
view being correct." ^ At this point Butler has lost his per- 
spective; he is so caught up in his idea that his own world 
is indistinguishable from that of the Odyssey. He reports 
Alcinous and Arete and Euryclea wherever he turns, and his 
only interest is in making other people acknowledge the 
reality of his vision. On February 27 he is surprised that May 
doesn't already know that Nausicaa was the author of the 
Odyssey. "I beg your pardon," he writes, "I thought I had 
long ago told you that Nausicaa did write the Odyssey. I only 
wish some one would venture to tell me she didn't in a place 
where I could lay my hands about him." 

In his work on the Odyssey Butler went through a process 
much like that of a good satirist: he ran his idea as far as it 
would go. He turned a comparison into literal fact to test its 
applicability, just as in Gulliver's Travels Swift turned meta- 
phorically petty people into physically little people, and put 
an abstracted society on a real floating island. Butler himself 
in Erewhon turned the promises of the church into a literal, 
unspendable currency, and he made the "penalties" of sick- 
ness into a real legal code. But the difference between con- 

' January i8, 1892 (Letter 118). 

trolled satirical ideas like these and Butler's theory of the 
Odyssey is that Lilliput, Laputa, the Musical Banks, and the 
Erewhonian legal system never lose their quality as metaphor. 
The conscious satirist presents them as like the real world but 
not identical with it, whereas in his own life Butler lost that 
perspective; he was consumed by the attractiveness of his at 
first imaginary creation, and though he made use of the tech- 
niques of many disciplines — classical scholarship, literary criti- 
cism, numismatics, archeology — he refused to subject himself 
to the orderly procedures of any one. He combined them all 
in one great personal synthesis, and thus became the uncon- 
scious butt of his own ingenious satirical method — an imag- 
inative mind run wild. 

A man's work and his personality seemed so inevitably the 
same to Butler that he made his understanding of a writer's 
personality one of the key tests of the value of his writing. 
He read to discover in the work the personal reflection of its 
author. If, as in the case of Nausicaa and the Odyssey, the 
search at first led him to a fuller understanding of the work, 
it sometimes led him to trivial judgments of authors who do 
not readily reveal themselves — Swift, for example, about 
whom after reading Gulliver's Travels Butler could say only 
that "from all I can make out [he] was a far more human & 
genuine person than he is generally represented, but I do not 
think I should have liked him." ^ This emphasis on a writer's 
personality limited the kind of literature Butler read, because 
impersonal forms like drama offered little grist for his mill. 
He loved Shakespeare's sonnets; he committed them all to 
memory, and he wrote a book about the story and the per- 
sonality they reveal, but about Shakespeare's plays he com- 
plained in all seriousness that Shakespeare should have told 
us "more about what he himself saw, said, and did, what he 
thought of the men and things of his day — what people he 
was fond of, what places he most frequented etc., and less 
about Hamlet and Othello." ^ 

'MS Notebooks, I, 122; Shrewsbury Note-Books, p. 190. 
'MS Notebooks, I, 119. 


Butler's intensely personal and naive reaction to the many- 
issues with which he dealt was strongly colored by a sudden, 
violent awakening at the age of twenty-four to his separate- 
ness from his family and his society. The first sign of this 
awakening that Butler remembered was the night that he 
boarded ship for New Zealand, when abruptly he stopped 
saying his prayers. "I had said them the night before and 
doubted not that I was going to say them as I had always 
done hitherto. That night, I suppose, the sense of change was 
so great that it shook them quietly off." ^^ Whether or not 
the date of his conversion to skepticism was quite so definite, 
it did take place at about the time he went to New Zealand,^^ 
and, though few personal documents from that time have sur- 
vived — there is one previously unpublished letter to May from 
New Zealand — the change that took place in Butler shows 
up very strongly in the contrast between the letters he wrote 
to May before he left and those he wrote after he returned. 
In the earlier letters we see a lively, dutiful young man whom 
Butler was to draw upon in his portraits of Ernest in The 
Way of All Flesh and John Pickard Owen in The Fair Haven, 
As this young man writes to May there is no doubt that he 
feels at ease in the Cambridge world. He works diligently for 
his examinations, involves himself with college gossip, worries 
lest his aunt and her friend be an embarrassment to him. And 
he takes his position in the college as a matter of course, with- 
out making any judgments on the justice or injustice of the 
system, but with a keen eye for the foibles around him.^^ But 

^"MS Notebooks, I, 189; Shrewsbury Note-books, p. 213. 

" In The Way of All Flesh Ernest discovers the f raudulence of the world at 
the age of twenty-four, while in jail for his "attack" on Miss Maitland. Overton 
remarks that "in mind as in body, like most of those who in the end come to 
think for themselves, he was a slow grower. . . . His education had been an 
attempt, not so much to keep him in blinkers as to gouge his eyes out altogether" 
(chap. 61) . 

"Butler's letters to his father at this time are less lively, but they confirm 
the picture of a dutiful, somewhat anxious undergraduate. On October 3, 1857, 
he wrote: "No one of you wants a first class half so much as I do: so you need 
not fear my becoming inflated by any hopes held out but rather rejoice that 
I am being encouraged which I think a great invigorator when sparingly applied" 
(British Museum MS.). 


by the time he returns from New Zealand, his relation- 
ship with the world has changed; he is now judge and jury 
in a court that is always in session and never fails to grant 
certiorari. **There are no great musicians now," he writes to 
May on January 30, 1867, and, that matter settled, he passes 
on to well-known artists: he has met two — Henry Wallis, 
whom he liked, "and shall probably meet him again," and Sir 
Francis Grant, whom he did not like; he "did not seem to 
approve of my work, but I cared not." Of politicians, he has 
met Anthony Mundella, but he "did not like [him] at all, 
and should have no confidence in his judgement." The remark- 
able change in these post-New Zealand letters is not the pri- 
macy of Butler's judgment as much as its exclusiveness ; Wallis, 
Grant, and Mundella have become faceless, phantom figures, 
not described at all but merely the objects of Butler's opin- 
ions. In contrast, we may remember the letters of Thackeray, 
one of the few contemporary writers whom Butler admired; 
they fairly burst with detailed, accurate portraits of the peo- 
ple he has seen, so full of life that they will not stay in prose 
but appear as sketches right on the page. Butler took pride 
in his skill as an artist, but he never drew even verbal sketches 
in his letters; in fact, it may be significant that, whenever he 
wanted figures in the landscapes he painted or in the drawings 
he made for Alps and Sanctuaries, he hired one of his friends 
to draw them in. His own concern with human beings was 
not visual or humoristic, but doctrinal. Only if someone was 
converted to Butler's new realism — or better, if he was will- 
ing to be converted, like the priest whom he told May he 
had met in Italy ^^ and who listened intelligently to his view 
of the late elections in England — only then would Butler 
respond to him. 

In his years of virtual solitude in New Zealand, Butler's 
reaction against his father's world became a kind of religion 
and he its prophet. The few friends he had in New Zealand 
were themselves rebels of one kind or another and did little 
to temper his zeal or to help him accommodate it to ordinary 

^^July 16, 1880 (Letter 34). 


society; instead, they encouraged his burning vision of so- 
ciety's deceptions and afforded him an opportunity to express 
himself without the customary niceties of argument. Butler 
described this aspect of his life in New Zealand as *'an entire 
uprooting of all past habits . . . accompanied with a hardly 
less entire change of opinions upon many subjects. Firstly, I 
have lost all desire of making other people think the same as 
myself. If any one wishes to know my opinions upon a sub- 
ject I can now content myself with stating them as clearly 
as I can." ^^ By the time he returned to England in 18^4 he 
had lost any taste he might have had for the give-and-take 
of an intellectual community. He did not want a marketplace 
for competing ideas any more than an evangelist does; he saw 
people only as friends or enemies, or as subjects for his pro- 
selytizing. His analysis of the reasons he was first drawn to 
Jones illustrates the view he took of people: Jones ''was fuel," 
Butler said. ''I saw that a spark from myself had kindled it, 
and that it began to blaze kindly, as though the wood were 
dry. Then I liked Jones very much at once, and took all the 
pains I could to make him become attached to me." ^^ Butler 
responded to the fuel, but, though Jones appears constantly 
in his letters, in his Notebooks, and in his books, and though 
Butler lovingly saved Jones's wicked remarks and preserved 
his opinions, a reader who read everything that Butler ever 
wrote would not know what Jones looked like, what kind of 
clothes he wore, how he walked, or what gestures he used. Such 
objective observations were no part of Butler's emancipating 
vision of life. 

After he returned from New Zealand, Butler approached 
issues like a man once burned, like his fictional character John 
Pickard Owen, who as a child watched one of his mother's 
friends prepare for bed and thereupon made a discovery from 
which he was never to recover: "The mass of petticoats and 
clothes which envelop the female form were not . . . 'all 

^* Letter from New Zealand to his cousin Philip Worsley, January lo, 1861, 
Memoir, I, 96. 

^^ MS Notebooks, III, 149; Butleriana, pp. 105-106. 


solid woman.* . . . Women were not in reality more sub- 
stantially built than men, and had legs much as he had." ^® 
Butler suffered from the same kind of awakening to the dif- 
ference between appearance and reality, but he was gently 
ironic about the results of Owen's formative discovery. 
Henceforth for Owen 

the world itself was hollow, made up of shams and delusions, full of 
sound and fury signifying nothing. . . . Truly a prosaic young 
gentleman enough. Everything with him was to be exactly in all its 
parts what it appeared on the face of it, and everything was to go 
on doing exactly what it had been doing hitherto. 

Such were the ideal theories of his childhood — unconsciously 
formed, but very firmly believed in. As he grew up he made such 
modifications as were forced upon him by enlarged perceptions, but 
every modification was an effort for him, in spite of a continual and 
successful resistance to what he recognized as his initial mental 

As a reaction to his own vision, Butler vowed to combat 
hypocrisy with blunt, forthright honesty. This meant that 
usually he was tactless and almost always unresponsive to his 
audience. His father was his first opponent, and he set forth to 
tell him of his doubts about the Church of England — sharply, 
and with no real consideration for the fact that his father had 
spent his life as a rural clergyman and was a man of somewhat 
limited philosophical curiosity. In The Way of All Flesh he 
smiles knowingly at such a trait in Ernest, who dreams of pre- 
senting his discovery of contradictions in the Gospels to the 
Archbishop of Canterbury. "His Grace would have no re- 
source but to admit them," Ernest reasons, and "being an 
honourable man he would at once resign his Archbishopric, 
and Christianity would become extinct in England within a 
few months' time." ^^ But in his own life he was unable to 
smile at his use of such directness. Ordinarily he put his case 

^' The Fair Haven, chap, i of Owen's Memoir. Shrewsbury Edition, III, 6. 
" Ibid., p. 7. 
"^Chap. 65. 


bluntly, waited eagerly for a reply, and thereupon quarreled 

The result of this manner was his almost total isolation from 
the literary and scientific circles of his time. His letters to May 
contain few references to famous people, partly because by 
habit he suspected their reputations much as John Owen sus- 
pected women's clothes, and partly because he could anticipate 
their reaction to his forthright behavior. When he did meet 
them he was uncomfortable and longed for the homely in- 
elegance of his rooms in Clifford's Inn where he and one or two 
of his small circle of friends met. His letter to May of De- 
cember 20, 1884, lets us see him at the home of the William 
Rossettis; it epitomizes his estrangement from the fashionable 
literary circles of Victorian London. **I did not know them," 
he reports, 

but Mrs. Rossetti sent me an invitation and said her father Madox 
Brown, the painter, would be there and would much like to see me. 
I used to know the Madox Browns but found that if they gave me 
a bun at all they wanted me to climb the pole too much and too 
often to get it so on my return from America I did not call and 
let the acquaintance drop. In the mean time Oliver Madox Brown 
had died, and I was supposed not to be as sorry as I ought to have 
been, the fact being that I hardly knew him at all beyond his call- 
ing on me sometimes and reading me his MS. novels which I par- 
ticularly disliked; I don't mind reading my own MSS. to people, 
but I don't like being read to, and I did not like either young 
Brown or his novels — and did not feel his loss so acutely as I ought 
to have done. 

Butler is impossibly self -centered and yet charming in this 
report. He was annoyed by young Brown's reading him his 
manuscripts, but he joins his annoyance to an admission that 
he loves to read his own manuscripts aloud. In his next para- 
graph he begins to construct the scene in which he at last is 
face to face with old Madox Brown: 

Two years or so ago old Madox Brown the father wrote me a letter 
asking if I had any letters of his son's as they wanted them for 
a biography. I don't believe he ever wrote me a letter; at any rate 


I had none, but I took the opportunity to write prettily about the 
loss literature had sustained etc., and the old man wrote me back 
an answer saying something about "silent equivoques" (equivokes) 
which I did not quite understand but it was rather touching, for 
I knew he had been very proud and hopeful about his son. So when 
Mrs. Rossetti wrote me thus I thought I ought to go and did and 
there was old Madox Brown so I went up and said how glad I 
was to meet him again but he had forgotten all about it and 
evidently did not know me from Adam, nor care two pence whether 
he saw me or not — and his being so glad to see me was a wicked hoax 
— I was very much amused and rather comforted. 

Butler emphasizes his routine social politeness — his "pretty" 
reply to Brown's request for any letters of his son, his saying 
how glad he was to meet old Madox Brown again — but he 
mutters all the way through this account (*'I don't believe he 
ever wrote me a letter") in a way that foretells the end of such 
hypocritical etiquette: Madox Brown will not remember him. 
Hypocrisy is again exposed, and Butler is delighted to draw 
the moral: "It is perfectly hopeless for me to think I shall get 
any good [from] the ultra aesthetic cultured and scientific 
people and I don't mean to follow this up. The Tylors and Mr. 
Seebohm are their very opposites and I will cultivate them to 
the best of my power." Tylor and Seebohm were new ac- 
quaintances, both of whom had recently praised Butler's work. 
In place of the famous, Butler gathered around him a small 
clique who came to form a kind of family group, the common 
characteristic of which was reverence for Butler. The tone of 
the group is very clear in Jones's report of his feelings when 
he first sought out Butler: 

[I] sent Butler a telegram asking whether I might join him. . . . 
I was a little uneasy at what I had done, for I was not at all sure 
he would put up with me; and he felt the same as soon as he had 
sent his reply. He was sixteen years my senior, and we had seen 
very little of one another. . . . We sat out on the terrace . . . 
nothing had gone wrong as yet. Presently I pointed out a particular 
star and asked if he knew its name. Now Butler, though I was 
unaware of it at the time, considered that he resembled the Emperor 


Marcus Aurelius Antoninus in that he was thankful to say he had 
never troubled himself about the appearance of things in the heavens. 
He therefore replied with some asperity: "I do not know anything 
about astronomy" (Memoir, I, 281-282). 

"I do not know anything about astronomy" — this is the kind 
of terminal remark which pleased Butler's close friends; it 
reminded them of Dr. Johnson. 

In return for idolatry, Butler offered his friends his own un- 
wavering support for whatever they did or said. He accepted 
their opinions — Jones on law and music, Gogin on art, Miss 
Savage on literature — as expert, and he commonly reported to 
May either that he and Jones or he and Gogin had decided 
something, or that he had discussed his idea with one of them 
"and he has no doubt that it is correct." 

As readers of The Way of All Flesh might suspect, Butler 
was most comfortable with people when his relationship to 
them had a clear financial basis. For him the worst relationship 
was that between a father and son, for there were expecta- 
tions on both sides, and yet the exact status and amount of the 
expectation was unclear and at the whimsical disposition of 
the father. The best relationship, on the other hand, is one 
such as Ernest establishes with his de facto wife and his chil- 
dren. He sends Ellen off to America on a regular pension with 
the clear understanding that she will make no further de- 
mands upon him, and he pays a stipulated amount for his 
children's board and room — plus a little extra to persuade their 
guardian to give up smuggling — so that his children, raised 
without any expectations at all, can only be completely grate- 
ful when at the proper time their father gives them the neces- 
sary capital for the tools of their trade (steamboats, in this 

Butler sought some such clarifying arrangement in his own 
life. First, after he had made a small fortune in sheep ranching 

^° With cats too Butler wanted his responsibilities clear. See his letter to May 
of October 21, 1885 (Letter 73): "No — I will not have any Persian cat — it is 
undertaking too much responsibility. I must have a cat whom I find homeless, 
wandering about the court and to whom therefore I am under no obligation." 


in New Zealand he granted his friend Pauli a regular stipend, 
and he continued to pay it for the rest of his life, despite the 
obvious deterioration of the friendship, despite his own serious 
financial losses, and despite Pauli's increasing affluence. He 
paid because to stop would have been equivalent to admitting 
that his contract with Pauli was like that between father and 
son, valid only so long as the donor was pleased to honor it. 
After he inherited his father's money, Butler also paid Jones 
a regular salary with the understanding that the payments 
would cease when Jones came into his own inheritance; and it 
seems more than coincidental that it was just at the time 
Jones inherited his money that the first real breach in their 
friendship occurred. What Butler wanted of his close friends 
was a more perfect family, a Family Ltd. in which he could be 
comfortable without the fear of unexpected demands. He 
was able to create such a family with Pauli, Jones, Alfred, and 
Hans Faesch; but Miss Savage, who was probably his closest 
literary adviser, remained troublingly on the outside. Butler's 
letters to her show him at some moments in affectionate rap- 
port with her and at others brusquely distant. She never be- 
came his mistress, but her very existence as a woman contained 
the threat of a real, unlimited family unit, and one of the best 
insights into the kind of relationship he sought with others can 
be found in his rationalization of his behavior toward her. 
What troubled him most after her death was not grief but the 
realization of his personal failure. That comes through despite 
his ponderous logical propositions: 

She haunts me, and always will haunt, because I never felt for her 
the love that if I had been a better man I should have felt. Granted 
that I had known her some three years before she (to use her own 
expression) "found me out. . . ." Granted that I had come to 
look upon her as an impossible person . . . that she was very lame, 
was plain. . . . Granted again that she was none of my seeking. 
. . . Granted that she oppressed me with her very brilliancy — nay 
bored me, for there is no bore like a brilliant bore. . . . Add to this 
that if I had . . . married her — nay it was absurd. I should have 


married her in cold blood, not because I wanted to marry her, but 
because she wanted me to marry her.^^ 

The life that Butler tried to create for himself was totally 
unattractive; in deliberately cutting it down to avoid the pos- 
sibility of pain he excluded a whole range of human experi- 
ences. His recurring activities that seem to mark the passing of 
time in these letters — his regular house cleaning, his double- 
entry accounting, his regular holidays in the same places on 
the Continent, his regular hours of work at the Museum — are 
symptoms of his determination to reduce life to the meas- 
urable, and it is sadly ironic that the last words he is reported 
to have said before he died should so expose the pathos of his 
love for the settled account. "Have you brought the cheque- 
book, Alfred?" he said, and slipped quietly into eternity .^^ 

The ideal, limited life that Butler tried to lead is not 
admirable and it is the antithesis of heroism, and yet, en- 
couraged by Butler's own constant assertion that he had 
found the ideal way of life, Jones tried to make that life 
seem interesting in itself, whereas the only interesting thing 
about it is Butler's struggle to make it work. He was never a 
"natural" man in the sense that he reacted quickly and in- 
stinctively; his actions were conscious and had to be painfully 
thought through, although he admired and envied people who 
acted with the ease and sureness of an instinctive knowledge 
of the world. Towneley in The Way of All Flesh is the ideal 
projection of such a man; he knows intuitively that it is Miss 
Snow, not Miss Maitland, who is a woman of easy virtue, while 
Ernest, like Butler, has to think the matter through — in- 
evitably to the wrong conclusion. To make matters worse, 
what small intuitive sense Butler did have was appropriate 
only to the world in which he had grown up, and since he had 
rejected that as fraudulent he had no instinctive pattern of be- 

^ Butler wrote this In his Notebooks in March, 1885, shortly after Miss Savage 
died. He revised it in 1897, and upon reading it in 1902, a few months before 
his death, he noted: "With most men this [marriage in cold blood] is suflScIent" 
{Butler-Savage Letters, pp. 362-364). 

^Memoir, II, 399. 


havior at all. What he needed was a bundle of habits to make 
his day a less frightening and exhausting ordeal, and he set out 
to make himself a man of habit. We feel as we read his letters 
that he insists upon his routine as if he were afraid of losing 
it. After his return from New Zealand he is a man trying 
with all his rational strength to be habitual, and what interests 
us is not the tiresome fellow he would have been if he had 
succeeded — the one Jones admired — but the complex man en- 
gaged in a daily and never quite successful struggle to make 
himself a lesser but more comfortable person. 

One of the complications of Butler's life which he tried 
to simplify was his relationship with his family. The common- 
sensical view of the matter was that he had found them out, 
left them, and should deny them any part of his life; his 
attitude toward them should be as clear as Ernest's after he 
leaves prison — tinged with a certain cold pity for his aged 
parents perhaps, contemptuous of his sister Charlotte, and 
totally aloof from them all. But even in the novel Ernest's new 
attitude makes him a mere cardboard cutout in the fine clothes 
of a London gentleman, the manufactured embodiment of a 
simplified reaction. And in his own life, Butler was simply 
not able to act commonsensically. This lifelong correspondence 
with his younger sister (who never left home or questioned 
the values for which her father stood) suggests as much; for 
with May, Butler occasionally did manage to strike the pose of 
iconoclast. He privately added sharp rejoinders to her letters, 
as when he objected to her reply to his letter in which he 
described his evening with the Rossettis. May wrote: "I very 
much sympathize with you in your objection to the ultra- 
aesthetic Rossetti school. It must have been rather fun to let 
them see you saw they did not really want you." Her comment 
seems well-intentioned, but in reading it over later Butler felt 
obliged to pick at it, to strike the familar pose and comment: 
*'I did not *let them see etc.,' nor say I had let them see. I did 
my best to conceal it. This [from May] was meant as a snub 
for me, it was her way of saying *yo^ have been to the 
Rossetti's indeed, but you must not think much of that, they 


did not really want you at all.' " But at the same time he was 
exposing his sister's supposedly mean motives and fulfilling his 
notion of himself as somone not taken in by family hypocrisy, 
he was selecting and preserving May's letters and continuing 
to send her warm, full reports of his daily activities. 

Another part of his emancipated role was sharing wicked 
jokes about fathers and sisters with Jones. He made a point of 
recording them in his Notebooks. " 'Henceforth [said he] let 
us be to one another as brother and sister.' *No,' said I, as I 
thought of my own sisters, *not so bad as that.' " ^^ It required 
an artificially maintained sense of naughtiness to find any 
point in this, but Butler kept it up and applauded Jones in his 
efforts, as when Jones described his thoughts on what he sup- 
posed was his deathbed: "[There is] one part of my conduct 
which I think has been distinctly wrong, and not what it 
should have been — I refer to my treatment of my mother. I 
have been much too good to her. If my life is spared I will 
endeavor to amend this in the future, and treat her more as 
she deserves." ^^ 

In the interest of consistency, Butler liked to think that his 
transparent displays of antipathy toward May established a 
clear attitude toward her, but there is considerable evidence, 
even aside from these letters, that he had great affection for 
the sister whom logically he should have hated. When he was 
in financial difficulties in the autumn of 1879 and about to 
begin an acrimonious correspondence with his father about his 
rights to some family property, he wrote to ask if his father 
would keep their financial dispute a secret from May.^* He did 
not want May to suffer the inevitable arguments about money 
that were about to begin, and he did not want her to know the 
long history of his dealings with Pauli that he was about to 
reveal — "other people's secrets . . . which she ought not to 
be possessed of." ^^ His father refused to keep anything from 
May, and one suspects that in the ensuing correspondence But- 

^ Butler-Savage Letters, p. 308. 

^MS Notebooks, I, 124. 

^October i, 1879 (British Museum MS). 

'^October 4, 1879 (British Museum MS). 


ler argued somewhat less acidly that he might have otherwise. 
The letter in which his father refuses to hide anything from 
May gives us an excellent idea of how close May was to her 
father and how much Butler must have realized that close 
contact with her implied close contact with his father too: 
"With regard to May," Canon Butler wrote, "she lives with 
me and is my comfort. There is no one else to whom I can pour 
out my worries and anxieties; she keeps my household ac- 
counts and I cannot consent to any thing that puts a barrier 
to our free confidence. But I am willing to help you if I 

May*s position in the Butler family was central. She was 
the youngest child, six years younger than Samuel. Though 
there were two other children, Harriet (i 834-191 8), and 
Thomas (1837-1884), May was the only one to remain at 
home, and after her mother died in 1873 she assumed the 
management of her father's household. When he retired to 
Shrewsbury (where his father had been headmaster of Shrews- 
bury School) , May went with him and turned her energies to 
charitable affairs. She founded a small home for illegitimate 
girls and took an active interest in Shrewsbury School. When 
her father died in 188^, May lived on in Shrewsbury with her 
sister Harriet and died there in 19 16 at the age of 75. 

Butler was never as close to Tom or Harrie as he was to 
May. He and his brother were together at Shrewsbury School 
and St. John's College, Cambridge, but Butler shared his 
family's strong disapproval of Tom's early and complete re- 
volt from authority. Tom disappeared from Cambridge under 
mysterious circumstances, and when he turned up a few years 
later, he had married Henrietta Rigby, a poor Welsh girl. He 
drank heavily, disappeared for months at a time, and finally 
left his wife and four children for his father to support. In 
1880 a prostitute with whom he was living in Brussels dis- 
closed his whereabouts by writing to Shrewsbury for money. 
Tom was summoned home to explain himself — and he came, 

'* October 5, 1879 (British Museum MS). 


accompanied by the woman. They both left hurriedly, and 
Tom was not heard from again until news of his death on 
Corsica reached the family early in 1885. 

Butler never saw in his brother's life the gross projection of 
his own revolt that an objective observer is likely to see; he 
disapproved of Tom, from the same point of view as his father, 
without acknowledging the obvious (even if finally superfi- 
cial) analogies between their lives. *' After all we know [about 
Tom]," he wrote to his father on November 26 , 1881, "we, 
May least of all of us, shd not recognise Tom, except as a dis- 
grace to us all who is to be put aside once for all, and with 
whom no words are to be bandied." ^^ 

About Harriet, Butler's older sister, Mrs. R. S. Garnett 
(who wrote with the intention of counteracting the poor im- 
pression which The Way of All Flesh gave of the Butler fam- 
ily) quotes a trusted ^'informant": She ^'suffered from a dis- 
eased conscience, so over-scrupulous that she feared to do good 
for fear of doing evil. She was a woman of indomitable will, 
entirely self -centered and domineering, and she ruled the 
whole family with a rod of iron." ^^ If Mrs. Garnett's in- 
formant is correct, Butler's feeling about Harriet (in part ex- 
pressed in the character of Charlotte in The Way of All Flesh) 
is hardly surprising. **All I know," he wrote about her in his 
Notebook in February, 1885, ''is that I dislike her more than I 
can properly say." ^^ Certainly the letters which passed be- 
tween him and Harriet are cooler in tone than the May letters, 
and in general concern only practical matters and financial 
arrangements, about which he almost never talked to May. In 
1859 Harriet married George Lovibond Bridges (a brother of 
Robert Bridges, the poet laureate), who was seriously ill with 
tuberculosis. He died some seven months later, but Harriet re- 
mained apart from her father and May for twenty years, 
finally joining them at Wilderhope House, Shrewsbury, in 

^British Museum MS. 

^Garnett, p, 63. 

^ MS Notebooks, III, 179, February, 1885. 


The apparent irreconcilability of the lives of Butler and 
May and the fact that they maintained an affectionate cor- 
respondence over a period of forty-seven years suggest the 
central paradox of Butler's life which no amount of logical, 
straightforward thinking could solve. When Ernest at last 
struggles free of the life of Battersby Rectory, he is able to 
enjoy his freedom only by flaunting it at Battersby, by arriv- 
ing "got up regardless of expense" and slowly breaking the 
news to his father that he is independently wealthy .^^ In the 
novel the reader wonders whether independence that must be 
so insisted upon is real, and in fact in Butler's own life it was 
not. His rejection of his family always involved a strange ac- 
ceptance of it. Thus while he was working on The Way of All 
Fleshy satirizing his father and mother in the characters of 
Theobald and Christina, he was spending even more time and 
considerable money on preparing two large volumes about his 
grandfather. The Life and Letters of Dr. Butler. In his other 
books, in his studies of evolutionary theory, and even, in- 
congruously, in his travel books, he was attempting to prove 
that *'the only good influence upon a man's character is to 
hiave been begotten of good ancestors for many generations — 
or at any rate to have reverted to a good ancestor." ^^ The 
effect of his theory was to allow him to relate himself to a 
long tradition of the Butler family and yet to disassociate him- 
self superficially from his father. The virtues which a man 
inherits, he maintained, come not from his parents but from 
some preceding generation; thus in Butler's theory it is the 
father, not the son, who is disinherited. 

Butler then could not, even if he had wanted to, treat May 
merely as a younger sister for whom he had great affection. 
She was his contact with his family, and it is in part his respect 
for the family and his desire to participate in family affairs 
that lie behind his detailed discussions with May of the world 
she shared with her father: the coming of snowdrops, their 
brother Tom's children, the gossip about Mr. Moss's marriage. 

^Chap. 82. 

^ Alps and Sanctuaries, p. 277. 


These details never bored him, and in all his letters he set down 
the daily affairs of Langar and Shrewsbury side by side with 
the substance of his latest book. Even when he wrote entries 
in his Notebooks, he put down accounts of his scientific ideas 
and sketches for his novels next to bits of trivial news from 
May, for there was in Butler's mind a fusion of many kinds of 
experience that seem quite separate to most people — and an 
amazing complexity of values. In his books he struggled to 
simplify his point of view, to apply a rigorous undergraduate 
logic to the matter at hand so that with no equivocation he 
might say what he honestly believed. That is why in his argu- 
mentative books he usually seems so arbitrary, so impatient 
with the subtleties of his subject, while in his novels, par- 
ticularly in The Way of All Flesh (which he allowed to be 
frankly autobiographical), he allowed himself to present the 
interplay of contradictory emotions in himself which else- 
where he denied. And his letters, like his best novel, re- 
iterate the complexity of a man who satirized Shrewsbury 
School in his account of Ernest at Roughborough and yet 
regularly attended every Shrewsbury School Speech Day. 

May was always the most responsive member of the family 
to Butler's work. She alone read all his books, and it was un- 
doubtedly through her that his father and mother learned 
enough about the contents of Erewhon (which they claimed 
they did not read) to object violently to their son's having 
written it. May also understood what he wrote, though she did 
not always agree with it, and one measure of his respect for her 
is the answer which he incorporated into The Fair Haven to 
the objections she raised in her letter of July 8, 1872, to his 
theory of the Gospels. After offering a series of objections to 
his theory. May concludes: "It is impossible to live in these 
days, and not be awake to many of the questions and dif- 
ficulties afloat — and there are few who have any powers of 
thought at all, who are not led to some extent, at least, to ex- 
amine the ground on which they stand. I think that we [i.e.. 
May and her father] have perhaps both thought and read 
more than you think." In Chapter 5 of The Fair Haven Butler 


took up one by one the points which May raised in this letter, 
and his careful refutation is proof that he was haunted by her 
statement: "We have perhaps both thought and read more 
than you think." Butler was determined to over-reply in his 
rational way to any argument she advanced, perhaps because 
he could not bear to have his sister play at his game, but also 
because he respected her opinion. 

Butler was aware, however, that May was not a perfect 
match for him intellectually. She had an irritatingly feminine 
way of obscuring the real point she was trying to make; and 
there is a quality in her letters that Butler best defined in his 
description of Charlotte's letters in The Way of All Flesh: 
"There is a de haul en has tone in all her letters; it is rather 
hard to lay one's finger upon it but Ernest never gets a letter 
from her without feeling that he is being written to by one 
who has had direct communication with an angel." ^^ May's re- 
luctance to say anything straight out is her most annoying 
stylistic habit. In her letter of February i, 1885, she reports 
that what few scraps of information she has received indicate 
that their brother Tom died of dysentery. Then she gen- 

How one wishes one could be always gentle. Somehow one begins 
to see that however much in the wrong people may be, there is 
always much one wishes one had not done or said or thought when 
any softening comes, and one is sorry now to think how ready we 
all were — even I, for I am speaking for myself as much as any of 
us, to think some evil of this silence [from Tom] — or that if the 
end had come, it might have come in some far more sad way. 

Butler was annoyed by this foggy prose in which the sub- 
ject disappears: the difference between his ideal of straight- 
forward writing and May's writing was never more marked, 
and he angrily broke in twice, scribbling replies on the letter: 
after the last sentence, he wrote: "I don't know what she 
means. I thought Tom's silence meant that he was dead — and 

''Chap. 86. 


he was dead. I did not think anything else." Butler was cer- 
tainly conscious of May's annoying mannerisms, and yet he 
constantly encouraged her to develop the talent he saw be- 
neath the manner. As late as 1899 he was urging her to try her 
hand at writing for publication. May did at one time write a 
chapter (not one of which Butler could have approved) in a 
sentimental moral guidebook for young girls entitled Lifers 
Possibilities, She did little else, but he believed in her. 

The affection between Butler and May is strongest in the 
letters he wrote at the times of crisis in his life. Just before 
he sailed to New Zealand he wrote to her, mixing talk about 
the ordinary details of his preparations for sailing — the 
furnishing of his cabin, his last-minute appointments in Lon- 
don — with an unstated but ever-present concern with having 
to leave her. He begins the letter with an attempt to say fare- 
well: "I shall think very much indeed of all at Langar, and 
often I am sure we shall be thinking of one another at the 
same time and in the same way — ." He then writes two more 
"farewells," also punctuated with long dashes, and each time 
invents some bit of business — where to forward his mail, what 
to do with his tailor's bill — to keep the letter open. After his 
return we can again see his affection in his playful letter of 
September 24, 1S66: **I am sorry your knee is hurt and hope it 
will soon come right; I don't like people having bad knees: 
they must get plenty of air in pony carriages at any rate." 
Butler is aware of May's diminutive world here, but his 
tenderness with her contrasts sharply with the brashness of his 
public manner at the time. 

Butler's fear that May might have accepted her conven- 
tional life too easily, that she was too acquiescent, sometimes 
manifests itself in what is for him an uncharacteristically in- 
volved, nonlogical style. In a few letters it is dilQficult even to 
determine exactly what the subject is, but what does emerge 
powerfully is his strong desire that his sister find some quiet 
substitute for his own forthright revolt from his father. Thus 
on October 4, 1S66, he writes: 


The long and short of it is, I have the utmost confidence in your 
goodness — but you are dangerously timid — you should never write 
as though you assumed that your brother had any right to be angry 
with you for doing whatever you think fit to do as regards your 
own estimate of your own future happiness — therein lies the differ- 
ence between liberality and illiberality — "if I had been in so and 
so's place I should have done so and so, therefore such and such an 
other should have done the same." 

When, as here, Butler allows himself to respond to his fond- 
ness for his sister his prose reflects it immediately. The same 
concern for May which muddies the surface of the passage 
above is expressed puckishly in his conclusion: "I wish you 
were braver: go up and bite the next six people you meet: it 
would do you a deal of good — and take it quite as a matter of 
course that you have a right to bite them. I won't come near 
you till you have bitten six — ." 

Butler did not collect amusing anecdotes for May as he did 
for Miss Savage, but his letters to her sometimes have the 
same easy wit as his best letters to Miss Savage. He could even 
smile at himself in them, and it was rare that he was able to do 
that. When he tells May (May 27, 1886) about the first re- 
hearsal of Narcissus, a satirical oratorio that he and Jones had 
written, he seems amused to learn that the violinists they had 
hired had liked the piece too but had expressed their approval 
by patting their violins, which he and Jones could not hear 
amid the "clapping etc. — of our small audience.'* Thinking of 
the violinists leads him to think of the cost of the oratorio 
(which itself is about financial speculation), and he muses, 
"A tame oratorio is a delightful pet but he is something like 
a tame elephant and would eat Jones and me out of house and 
home if we did not keep him in his proper place. As for print- 
ing it — we might just as well throw our money into the sea." 
It was not often that he saw his work as anything but a holy 
cause, whether it was musical or literary or scientific, and he 
had to be sure of May's confidence to condescend to it so play- 
fully. We can also sense the half-mocking, half-serious tone 
of his comments on his nephew Hal in the same letter: *'I am 


very glad to hear he has been so exemplary in putting by 
money, not only for his own sake but from an avuncular 
point of view; a pecunious nephew is so far more agreeable in 
every way than an impecunious one." 

Jones tries to show that Butler was driven to write letters to 
his sisters that were certain to insult them — **there was no 
stopping him from writing such letters when he was in the 
mood" — and he uses as an illustration a letter which Butler 
wrote to Harrie just a fortnight before his letter to May about 
the rehearsal.^^ It is, like all his letters to Harrie, sharper in 
tone than any to May; he questions outright what he would 
have merely noted privately upon a letter from May: "When 
you say you think Aunt Sarah 'it^/7/ have been' glad I called on 
her, do you mean that, though not glad at present, there will 
come a time, etc., etc.? I greatly doubt whether she will ever 
be more glad than she is at present." But in his long report of 
an interview with his Aunt Sarah it is hard to see how Harrie 
could take offense. He does compare his aunt to a fluctuating 
stock whose value fell precipitously in his market when she 
supported Gladstone's government, and the comparison is per- 
haps tediously extended, but it has the same lightheartedness 
as his use of stocks and bonds in Narcissus, and while one 
might agree with the note Butler made on the letter when he 
read it over ("this stupid letter," he called it) , there is no 
reason to believe anything other than what Jones quotes Butler 
as having said — that his sisters must see that his letters were 
written in fun. Jones's attempt to caricature the sisters is re- 
vealed in his comment that it was not likely that they "saw 
anything in them beyond deplorable flippancy and irrev- 
erence," ^* but Butler was always too demanding to have 
wasted his talents on an unappreciative audience. 

Butler was sometimes witty in his letters to May, and he 
was always honest — at least he was almost always honest, for 
in one letter (November 12, 1873) he denies that he has ever 
written or ever will write a book like The Way of All Flesh. 

^Memoir, II, 108-109. 


It is the only direct lie that he tells in the whole correspond- 
ence, and it may repay examination: 

I am told there is a report that I have written a book in which I 
have introduced my father. I fear lest this report should reach you 
and am anxious to contradict it. I have written no book in which 
any single character is drawn from life — or to my knowledge 
hinted at — and shall never do so. All that I have written now bears 
my name, and it is not my intention to write again anonymously. 
If you hear of any book's being assigned to me which does not bear 
my name please to contradict the report. I haven't the faintest 
conception what the present report can allude to — but contradict 
it unreservedly. 

The awkwardness of the lie gives him away. He protests too 
much about a report that only might, mysteriously, reach her; 
he is "anxious to contradict it'*; has "written no book," "shall 
never do so," "not my intention," "please to contradict"; "I 
. . . contradict it unreservedly" — all the negatives build up 
to a nervous affirmative. Actually, Butler was hard at work on 
the early and most satirical parts of the novel, and he was 
troubled by the fact that for the first time his writing was 
unambiguously autobiographical. True, he had acknowledged 
the previously anonymous Erewhon and The Fair Haven, but 
he could acknowledge these books, because they made no 
direct comment upon his family: they were fantasies about an 
imaginary land and about two imaginary brothers, and that 
was camouflage enough to allow him to discuss them fully 
with May, as he does in these letters; but The Way of All 
Flesh or "Ernest Pontifex," as Butler entitled it, was another 
matter. He denies it here, and never mentions it again 
throughout the correspondence, though it was probably the 
book that concerned him more and persisted in his mind over 
a longer period of time than any other. 

In the perspective these letters offer we see that in his many 
activities Butler shared the basic interests of his age. Like his 
more fashionable contemporaries he admired the Italian paint- 
ers before Raphael and the primitive artists of small Italian 


towns; he admired Handel, and he painted pictures which the 
Royal Academy hung; he wrote Erewhon when scientific 
Utopias were popular; his biographical interpretation of 
Shakespeare's sonnets followed, and was intended to refute, 
Sidney Lee's and Oscar Wilde's; and his interest in Homer co- 
incided with a new revival of Greek scholarship. He accepted 
the interests of his age, but his unique contribution was the 
great personal force and the commonsensical, amateur point 
of view which he brought to bear on them. His was a voice 
much needed in a late Victorian England threatened by nar- 
row, self -regarding professionalism — on one side scientists so 
cliquish that no outsider could be heard, and on the other 
litterateurs too aesthetic to receive a blunt "styleless" writer. 
In such a fragmented world Butler maintained his position as 
an informed nonprofessional and did so with an effective bel- 
ligerence. His world, as he says explicitly in his most famous 
sonnet, was a battlefield: 

Not on sad Stygian shore, nor in clear sheen 

Of far Elysian plain, shall we meet those 

Among the dead whose pupils we have been. 

Nor those great shades whom we have held as foes; 

No meadow asphodel our feet shall tread. 

Nor shall we look each other in the face 

To love or hate each other being dead, 

Hoping some praise, or fearing some disgrace. 

"We shall not argue saying " 'Twas thus'* or *'Thus," 

Our argument's whole drift we shall forget; 

Who's right, who's wrong, 'twill be all one to us; 

We shall not even know that we have met. 

Yet meet we shall, and part, and meet again, 

Where dead men meet, on lips of living men. 

The Butler that this sonnet expresses does appear in his 
letters to May — the man who defines death as the absence of 
contention, who says, as if he can hardly believe it, that in 
death one will not care "who's right, who's wrong." This is the 
Butler who tells May that he would like to get his hands on 
anyone who says that Nausicaa did not write the Odyssey y and 


the one who deHghtedly anticipates a long quarrel with 
Romanes about the source of the phrase ^'hereditary memory." 
Naturally, he was "hoping some praise" (he asks May to seek 
Arthur Sullivan's reaction to his music), but failing that he 
wanted blame, for above all he could not stand indifference. 
When Darwin unfortunately decided to ignore his attacks, he 
was ready to follow up one book with three and fill the 
magazines with acrimonious letters till he got the strong 
response he wanted. But though he plays his role hard, the 
quarrelsome Butler is only one part of the man we see in the 
letters. We see, in the round, a man of many moods, not al- 
ways crusading but at different times playful, affectionate, 
frivolous, confident, unsure. 

He did try to simplify his life by keeping his relationships 
with his friends precisely defined, by insisting on his hatred 
for his family because he hated what they stood for; but the 
result of his attempt was a transparent fiction that only a 
character like Ernest — or Jones — could believe. His attempt 
to simplify failed in the sense that nothing actually was sim- 
plified: Miss Savage would not be contained within his ideal of 
friendship, and May, despite all his naughty private com- 
ments upon her, was impossibly cast in the role of Cinderella's 
sister. But in an ironic sense Butler's simplification of life suc- 
ceeded, by bringing the complex man he was into contrast 
with the monolith he tried to be. Butler did not have the 
necessary perspective to see this, though in the best parts of 
The Way of All Flesh he wrote brilliantly about Ernest's self- 
delusion. His letters to May allow us to gain the perspective 
on his own life that he himself could not maintain; they help 
to restore a Victorian more interesting than the stereotype that 
Butler labored to create. 



I. 'Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

St. John's. CoU.^ 
Aug. lo 1855 
My dear May 

I am shocked to find that you already think I have used you 
ill by not writing; what you will have thought by the time 
this reaches you I don't know: time flies so quickly that I 
really did not think more than the usual week had elapsed 
since I wrote. 

I suppose the garden is by this time quite splendid, and 
hope none of its beauties will be over by the time I return wh: 
will be on the 15 th of September if all is well, as on that day 
the coaches go down and we are all turned out to admit of the 
college being cleaned, a very awful process that of taking up 
the carpet, scouring the floors and thoroughly cleansing some 
300 sitting rooms as many bed rooms and no few stairs and 
staircases. At present the college is being painted, I mean the 
outside of it. I shall have them very soon; more's the pity for 
they are a great nuisance and the paint, (on the outside of the 
windows and the outer door) smells most unpleasantly, es- 
pecially as the window must [be] kept open all the while 
notwithstanding that it is the outside. 

How I should like to be in Harrie's ^ plan about the musical 
festival; you may tell her that I have copied from a friend 
the most beautiful bit of quaint old music by a man of the 
name of Couperin,^ organist to the royal chapel of Louis the 
XlVth. Such an odd bit: yet so very pretty. I cannot play it, 
but will learn it when I come down, and send it to Carrie; * 
I would do so earlier, but really I know I shall never find the 

Letter i: 

^ Like his father and grandfather, Butler matriculated at St. John's College, 
Cambridge. He went up from Shrewsbury School in 1854. 

^Harriet, Butler's older sister. (See Biographical Sketches.) 

'Francois Couperin, "le Grand" (1668-1733). 

* Frances Caroline Bridges (1834-1929), sister of Harrie's future husband. As 
children she and Butler had a strong common interest in music. (See Garnett, 
P- 53.) 


time. We have had a great deal of wet lately, but yesterday 
a complete change seems to have set in, and the heat was 
tremendous. I am very glad of it, for our early bathing had 
dwindled to a very few (I have been a most unflinching ad- 
herent) owing to the daily encreasing chilliness of the water: 
and as I consider it a grand institution I don't like seeing it 

Aunt Susan ^ comes back on Tuesday. So the tea drink- 
ing must soon come off. I don't mind being seen anywhere 
with Aunt Susan, but I shall certanily [sic] not like smug- 
gling Mrs. Parry ^ into college at all: especially as I am sure 
she will sit at the window all the time to watch the gownsmen. 

How vexatious about that abominable girl Marion Cowes! 
I am most inquisitive to know all about her but suppose I 
must wait. 

With best love to all I remain 

Your affectionate brother 
S Butler. 

2. "Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Febry. 5. 1857 
St. John's. Coll: 
Dear May 

I write to wish you many happy returns of your birthday ^ 
and to beg your acceptance of the accompanying small work, 
which if not very entertaining is first rate in kind and which 
you will someday I think like. 

I don't know what Harrie will say to me when she receives 
my enclosed note to her — 

^Susannah Apthorp (1782— 1863), sister of Butler's paternal grandmother. She 
lived in Cambridge. 

^ Elizabeth Barwick Parry, widow of the rector of North Muskam-cum-Holme, 
a neighboring parish in Nottinghamshire. 

Letter 2: 

^ February 7. 


I am in for the Craven ^ and have done pretty well resisting 
the great temptation of bolting and cutting the whole concern 
for skaiting, no slight one I can assure you. The examination 
has been so far exceedingly hard, and I don't fancy that any 
freshman will carry off the Craven this year.^ Mrs. Parry is 
still Mrs. Parry though I fancy matters are getting more like 
the real thing; more's the pity for the agreeable and ladylike 
Miss Marshall whom I met at an entertainment at Aunt 
S[usan]'s a week ago. Papa's and Mamma's health was drunk 
by Aunt S after dinner which was chiefly formed out of our 
hamper; everything was exceedingly nice and the ham much 

I thought of you on the ball night and fancy that you were 
all more comfortable where you were than at Clumber; * at 
least I know one who would be. I hope that he continues 
mending — I have the gout in two fingers and am very tired 
as we have had a hard day in the senatehouse with long papers 
and, comparatively for the length, short time which makes the 
work much harder. I must do better than this in the tripos — 
but as I have another year we must hope for the best. Bateson ^ 
is Master — France ^ at present declines the public oratorship 
which I am sorry for as I should have liked to have had an 
examiner in the college; one would stand a better chance of 
being blown up for putting this that or the other. Tom ^ is 
well, but his room smokes so fearfully that he is not happy 
today. I went in and found such a state of soot as I never 
could have conceived. Tell Mamma that she will think me base 
for not having written but will perhaps pardon me as just at 
present I have an extra press of work on hand. With best love 

^ A scholarship of particular interest to the Butler family. Butler's grandfather 
successfully competed for it against Coleridge in 1793. 

^ The Craven was won the year before by a freshman (from Shrewsbury School). 

* Apparently Clumber Park, seat of the Duke of Newcastle, in Nottinghamshire 
near the Butlers' home. 

^William Henry Bateson (1812-1881), an alumnus of Shrewsbury School, who 
had recently been elected master of St. John's. 

^Francis France (18 16-18 64), pupil of Butler's grandfather at Shrewsbury 
School, at this time fellow of St. John's, and later president. 

^Butler's brother. (See Biographical Sketches.) 


to her and you all and many happy returns of the day I remain 

Your affectionate brother 
S Butler 

3 . "Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

4. Taviton Street — 
Gordon Square, London. W} 
Sep. 27. 1859 
Dear May, 

Many thanks for the prayer book which I left behind quite 
accidentally: I am very glad to have it indeed, and thank you 
for sending it. I trust you will not think too much of me, but 
am sure that I shall think very much indeed of all at Langar,^ 
and often I am sure we shall be thinking of one another at the 
same time and in the same way — 

I could not write yesterday — or I would have done so: per- 
haps now I had better detail my adventures from the date of 
my arrival in London to the present time. I got here without 
adventure, and after lunching here drove for Messr. Jas. 
Morrison and Co. There they told me that the ship will not 
leave dock till Thursday, & Gravesend on Friday morning.^ 
However I shall not have any too much time & am fully 
occupied till the time of sailing which I am very glad of. 
Thence we went and chose fittings for cabin(s) — a little table, 
chair, (both to stand in the recess) a piece of carpet 6 feet 
square — a looking glass — lamp (screwed to the wall) filtre, 
washing stand &[c.] . . . and thence drove straight to Mr. 
FitzGerald ^ — who was all kindness and cordiality — and will 

Letter 5; 

^ The home of Philip "Worsley (1802-1893), brother of Butler's mother. 

^ Butler's father was rector of Langar-cum-Barnston, near Bingham, Notting- 

^ Butler was about to leave for New Zealand to take up sheep ranching. His 
ship, the Roman Emperor, cleared Gravesend on Saturday, October i, and arrived 
in Lyttelton, N. 2., on January 27, i860. 

* James Edward Fitzgerald (1818-1896), first superintendent of Canterbury 
Province, New Zealand, who was in London at this time as agent of the province. 


bring me my letters of introduction on board with him at 
Gravesend. By the way he advised me quietly, sub rosa, so 
mind not a word goes further — to fight shy of Mr. D ampler ^ 
who was not considered an over reputable character. He ap- 
proved of all my other introductions. Thence I went to 
Chappell's to see about Harrie's piano forte. I like it much. It 
is very plain, but in their case I should take it myself. And 
thence after a short call on Perring ^ I returned home. Two 
Mr. Needhams, father and son,^ came to dinner. The elder 
was a very jolly old fellow and had written the brewery lot 
of introductions for me. 

This morning I went to the East India Docks the first thing 
after breakfast — saw the ship and liked her much — and am 
very well pleased with the cabin and general accomodation — 
thence returned to the fitting of the cabin, and called on Maull 
& Polyblank.^ They said the day was so very gloomy (which 
it is) that I have appointed lo tomorrow as the time at which 
I will call on them. Thence returned in time for lunch home. 

By the way a letter from my friend Biron ^ told me that I 
might fall in with a farmer's daughter of the name of Buss 
(what a name!) ; he describes her as "of pleasant exterior.'* 
And sure enough, she has taken the next cabin to my own: 
she lives near Biron's people. How I trust she is engaged and 
going out to be married — /'/ not I mean to offer her any rea- 
sonable compromise to make love to Mr. Newton (a young 
man who called with introductions to Mr. Fitz.G. but whom 
Mr. F. G. did not particularly fancy. Mr. Inman is the nice 
young fellow whom he liked) and not to me. Will you offer 
anything more on your own account? 

Mr. FitzGerald hopes Papa will call on him next time he 

^ Probably Christopher Edward Dampier, solicitor to the Canterbury Association. 

® Philip Perring (i 828-1920), curate of St. James, Westminster, with whom 
Butler lived in 1859 while he considered taking orders. 

^ John Manning Needham (1807— 1876) and Frederick Needham (d. 1875). 
The elder Needham and Philip Worsley were partners in the Whitbread & Co. 
brewery, a fact that Butler puns upon in the next sentence. 

^ Photographers. 

® Henry Brydges Biron (1835-191J), a friend of Butler's at Cambridge, who had 
recently been ordained. 


comes to town. Please forward letters to Taviton street if any 
arrive either on Wednesday or Thursday — as I shall not leave 
Taviton street, till Friday after post time. 

Tomorrow I go first to Maull & P's, thence to the East India 
Docks — thence to Perring's. As these places lie hugely apart 
it will be one or two o'clock 'ere I reach Perring's; then I send 
Harrie's box, and my own table to Highmoor House — and 
stay with Perring till 4. Then go and dine with my friend 
Fisher ^^ and bid him good bye. (By the way I am going to 
Mayer's as soon as I have done writing this. ) And on Thursday 
I hope to find all my cabin complete — call on Mr. Mackenzie 
& do whatever final jobs remain. 

I had a letter from Mr. Moorhouse yesterday enclosing in- 
troductions to his son.-^^ Entre nous I don't incline to old Mr. 
Moorhouse. I will write again on Thursday, as I don't think 
I shall be able to do so (on) tomorrow — and drop one line from 
Gravesend. And now dear May, I must conclude. Papa and 
Mamma will consider this letter equally their's and with my 
very best love to you all I remain ever 

Your affectionate brother 
S— Butler— 

P. S. If any letters come after I am gone either send them to 
N.Z. or else to Paley ^^ at St. John's College, who will read and 
answer them — unless they are evidently from people known 
to all of us. If Redf arn & Banham ^^ send in a bill I don't owe 
them a penny — & mind no tailor's bill comes in in my college 
account — 

I don't suppose any more letters will come for me — 

^"George William Fisher (183 5-1898), another Cambridge friend, later mathe- 
matics master at Shrewsbury School. 

"^The son, William Sefton Moorhouse (1825-18S1), was the second superintend- 
ent Canterbury Province. He became a close friend of Butler's in New Zealand. 

^^ George Alfred Paley (183 8-1 866). He took his degree at St. John's two years 
after Butler. 

^^ Tailors at Cambridge. 


4> "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

[New Zealand] 
[ca. March 21, 1861] 
My dear May 

I send you two musical notes. [In] one, that in Alexander's 
Feast/ (which may be purchased for 2s) you will find some 
splendid music. "War he sang is toil & trouble" is the perfec- 
tion of ennui, the song being to all appearance taken from the 
natural tones of the human voice in which a man would ex- 
claim that war & every thing else and every body else were 
toil & trouble, but the chorus "So love was crowned but music 
won the cause" is amusing, and gives evidence of the way in 
which Handel evidently sided with Music versus love. He re- 
peats the "But music won the cause" three or four times at the 
end of the piece & winds up with a pretty little sly chuckle of 
triumph in the word[s] "won the cause," which complete the 
(movement) piece and give music the last word. These three 
words coming in after a pause are quite ludicrous. The next 
note is that the first three notes in the chorus "He trusted in 
God" are the natural intonation of a shout of derision — ha! 
ha! ha! I am confident that this is what Handel meant, 
though I consider the taste of meaning it to be questionable. 

P. S. Mar. 22. Pattisson ^ has come, but the box will not be 
opened till it gets home; it is now on its way. I like the looks 
of Patisson well: please give Harrie my best thanks for so 
kindly sending me dear George's handkerchiefs — they will be 
very acceptable. I have not had time to write a note to 
Whatton,^ but will make the opening of the box an excuse for 

Letter 4: 

^ Handel's setting to music of Dryden's "Alexander's Feast, or, the Power of 
Music; an Ode in Honour of St. Cecilia's Day." 

^ John Coleridge Patteson (1827-1911), first missionary bishop of the Melanesian 
Islands. Butler's cousin, Thomas Lloyd, joined him as a missionary two years later. 
Butler misspells Patteson's name here, and misspells it diflFerently in the next 

^ The home of Thomas Dickinson Hall (1808— 1879), near Langar. It was 
through Edward Algernon Hall (18 5 3-1933), the sixth son, that Butler met 
Jones in 1876. May was a close friend of Alice Elizabeth Hall, the eldest daughter. 


doing so, and for not having done so previously. I have ex- 
amined the college,* but it was almost a farce — the boys knew 
next to nothing and the little they did know was very super- 
ficial. I have expressed my opinion in the report, I hope 
politely, but at the same time unmistakeably. I showed the 
Bishop some of the papers and he quite coincided in my opin- 
ion that they wanted a good rubbing up. The last mail (i. e. 
the February mail) has not yet arrived, and this is overdue 
now, but I shall not wait as I have had a promise that my 
letters shall reach Rowley's ^ as soon as possible after the mail 
comes in. Best love to you all. 

Your affectionate brother, 

S. Butler— 

J. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
Fleet Street E. C. 
Sep. 24. 1^66 — 
Dear May 

Many thanks for your's which reached me on Thursday 
just as I was starting by the boat for Newhaven: ^ the sea was 
treacherous — leaden and smooth to look at from the shore, but 
oh! far from smooth to ride upon and rough with half a gale 
of wind before we got to New Haven. I was not ill — really 
perfectly unscathed but poor old Pauli was an awful sufferer. 
One poor little boy told the steward to take away the basin — 
saying very piteously "I have not got any more." I am very 

*Patteson and George Augustus Selwyn (i 809-1 878), bishop of New Zealand, 
maintained St. John's College, a boys' school near Auckland. It was partly for 
native and partly for English boys and also contained a training school for mis- 
sionaries. Selwyn was a friend of the Butler family. 

^A station between Butler's sheep ranch and the harbor at Lyttelton. 

Letter 5; 

^Butler had returned to London from New Zealand in August, 1864, and 
begun to study painting. At this time he was returning from a month's stay 
in Dieppe with Charles Paine Pauli (see Biographical Sketches). 


glad to be back, and having tidied up my rooms to the re- 
motest corner (and) am at peace and hope to begin regular 
work again tomorrow, of which I must really have a fair spell 
before I come home. I am in a state of profound dejection 
about art — shaving done very badly at Dieppe. A little time 
will I know from past experience set me as sanguine as ever 
again, but I must get well straight again before I can leave off 
for a day. I am very sorry to have missed Cousin Mary ^ and 
Miss Sherington; the Talbot Bakers ^ I don't think I am sorry 
to miss. Emma I shall hope to see at Langar. What is this talk, 
just rumoured of which I hear at Taviton St. about Mentone? 
I heard nothing save that someone had said that some one else 
had said that there was some talk about it. Are you going? 
I am sorry your knee is hurt and hope it will soon come right. 
I don't like people having bad knees: they must get plenty of 
air in pony carriages at any rate. 

I have just written to Etta,* and promised to go there for a 
few days at Xmas. I shall begin sending the Times to Harrie 
again — but no — after sending the one which I have folded up 
I shall drop it till I hear of her return. I hope you are all pretty 
well and with best love 

Your affectionate brother 

S. Butler 

6. "Butler to <^ay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

[15 Clifford's Inn] 
Oct. 4, i%66 — 
Dear May — 

I was very sorry for your last — but angry! The idea is pre- 
posterous — no one has any right to be angry with any one — 

^ Mary Lloyd, daughter of Butler's paternal aunt Harriet. 

* Talbot Hastings Bendall Baker (1820-1900) was at this time vicar of Preston- 
cum-Sutton-Poyntz, near Weymouth. 

* Henrietta Butler, nee Rigby, Tom's wife. Butler did visit her at Maes-y-Porth, 
her home in Wales, on December 22 (MS Notebooks, III, 100). 


on such matters — this is about the sixth letter I have tried to 
write you & shall make as much a mess of this as any of the 
others. The long & short of it is, I have the utmost confidence 
in your goodness — but you are dangerously timid — ^you shd 
never write as though you assumed that your brother had any 
right to be angry with you for doing whatever you think fit 
to do as regards your own estimate of your own future hap- 
piness — therein lies the difference between liberality & illib- 
erality — "if I had been in so & so's place / shd have done so & 
so, therefore such & such an other shd have done the same": 
this is pure bigotry & you need never fear -me: you thought — 
and did what you thought right because you thought it right. 
Who has any right to think a syllable against it qua you? — 
though he might have been fairly glad to have heard a dif- 
ferent termination. However I fear I am trenching on for- 
bidden ground, you must pardon me. I shall say no more ex- 
cept that you must not be so afraid of me, & that I shall forget 
all about it, I mean appear to forget. I wish you were braver: 
go up & bite the next six people you meet: it wd do you a 
deal of good — & take it quite as a matter of course that you 
have a right to bite them. I won't come near you till you have 
bitten six — and then there won't be any occasion for you to 
bite more. 

Please give my love to my mother: I am very sorry that she 
has been poorly — she will indeed have her hands full with so 
many visitors: I shall delay <g) coming home till the 2 2d. Have 
finished my portrait of myself sucessfully [sic] — I think the 
best I have done: am at work on poor old Paley for Mrs. 
Hoare,^ also sucessful. Am not earning nor like to earn a 
farthing yet — all in good time — "Wait" — as Tennyson says — 
"My faith is large in Time / "And that which shapes it to 
some perfect end." ^ It is nonsense but sounds pretty. Time 

Lefter 6: 

^Beatrice Ann Hoare, nee Paley, wife of Butler's close friend at Cambridge, 
Henry Hoare. Her brother, George Alfred Paley, also a friend of Butler's at 
Cambridge (see note 12 for Letter 3), was at this time seriously ill; he died in 
the following February. 

^"Love and Duty," 11. 25-26. 


cannot come to a perfect end or any end at all qua man, as 
long as he is alive. I should be very glad to meet Emma at 
Langar & shd like to time my visit to meet her. 

With my very best love to you I am your affectionate 

S. Butler— 

7. "Butler to ^May 

Text: Garnett, pp. 198—200. 

1 5 Clifford's Inn, 
Jan. 30, 1867. 
Dear May, 

Thank you very much for yours received this morning. I 
am very sorry that Etta has lost her father, and hope that 
whatever decision be arrived at nothing will go wrong; 1 
have no doubt that Dr. Roberts will decide rightly one way 
or the other: also I am very sorry to hear of my father's 
having so much cough, and trust that it is nothing serious. I 
shall call at Taviton Street to-morrow morning and shall 
probably catch him before he goes to see Dr. Burrough. 

I am very much pleased that you are translating Miss Koch's 
work — ought I to call her Fraulein Koch? or what? I hope it 
may be a prelude to your doing more with your pen: what say 
you to going to old Mother Barratt ^ and making her tell you 
how she and her brother walked down into Northampton- 
shire to see an uncle and enquire whether he meant to leave 
them any money, and writing it all down as nearly as you 
can remember it? I think it would make a charming little 
sketch and might be tried at All the Year Round or Once a 
Week. She tells it very naively, and indeed it wants no 
touches: if it could only be taken down verbatim it would be 
perfect. It was very snowy weather too — and when she says, 
"Oh dear, oh dear, how it did snow," she seems to feel the 

Letter 7; 

^ In Alps and Sanctuaries (p. 175) Butler identifies Mother Barratt as a resident 
of Langar, Parish records show that a Sarah Barrett, aged 78, died there in 1876. 


cold to this day. — However — enough of that — think it over. 
I went to Judas Maccabaeus the other night, and Hked it very- 
much indeed; it is the only thing I have been to; I am glad 
you went to the Elijah; but I like Mendelssohn less and less, 
and Handel, Bach and Beethoven more and more: there are no 
great musicians now. I was going to say no great musicians 
and no great painters now, but I suppose there are some very 
good painters — though no giants: no, I don't think there are 
any great painters either — not in England, at any rate. I met 
the Mr. Wallis who painted the "Death of Chatterton," ^ the 
other night, and liked him, and shall probably meet him again. 
Sir Francis Grant ^ also spoke to me the other day in the Na- 
tional Gallery, where I was copying, and asked me what I 
thought of the new Rembrandt which was close by where I 
was working; I didn't know who he was, but answered with 
decorum. He did not seem to approve of my work, but I cared 
not. I had only just begun and there was nothing to say. I 
think I am going on pretty well. I am very glad that Gertrude 
mends, and shall be much pleased to see the illustrations. With 
my best love to my mother and to you all, I am 

Your affectionate brother 

S. Butler. 

8. "Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C. 
Aug. 30, 1868 
Dear May 

I am afraid I have left your pleasant little note some days 
without an answer, (nay — I see it was only written on the 
26th) but by day I have no time for writing, and at night am 
generally pretty well tired so that I fear I am but a poor 
correspondent to any one. I am very sorry that you continue 

'Henry Wallis (1830-19 16). 

'Francis Grant (1803-1878), at this time president of the Royal Academy. 


so evidently below par. Do you think you eat too much salt? 
Our homeopathists say that people take a great deal too much 
of it, and that what the cook puts into the food is quite 
enough: they say that it is one great cause of a predisposition 
to take cold: and I mean to try what hardly using it at all will 
do this winter, and see whether I take cold less: certainly my 
mother takes a good deal and catches cold very easily, but that 
is too small an experience on which to form a conclusion. My 
eye certainly continues to improve but has its ups and downs: ^ 
on the whole the ups preponderate, and I make no doubt of 
ultimately getting quite rid of it: at present it hardly inter- 
feres with my work at all, but I ease it in every way I can: of 
my work I can give good accounts: I have had a comfortable 
time of it every since my return and am making rapid 
progress: the study just finished is one of an ugly old man 
dressed in a huge wig with a violent scarlet & no less violent 
lilac cotton satin costume of the time of Charles the Second: 
as hideous a conception as ever entered into Mr. Heather- 
ley's ^ brain: but I got a very good likeness out of it: he is 
such a good fellow that we don't complain no matter what 
monstrosities he inflicts upon us, and of course as far as the 
exercise goes it is the same thing, but it is vexing to have 
one's best work (and this is out & out my best) expended 
on a subject which can gratify no one and could never sell: 
Mr. Heatherley admired the study so much that I have given 
it him: and very glad I was to be able to gratify him with a 
study which I really cannot see could have given pleasure to 
any one else. Will you give all kind messages from me to Aunt 
Lloyd, to Tom & William^ and the Bathers.^ I have seen 

Letter 8: 

^ Never strong, Butler's eyes were particularly troublesome to him at this time 
and he was seeing an oculist (MS Notebooks, III, loo). 

^Thomas Heatherley (d. 19 14), proprietor of a school of art at 79 Newman 
Street at which Butler studied. 

^ Sons of "Aunt Lloyd," Harriet Lloyd. 

* Butler's paternal aunt, Mary, was the wife of Edward Bather (1779-1847). 
Their nephew, Henry Francis Bather (1832-1905), vicar of Meole Brace, near 
Shrewsbury, was a good friend of Butler's. The manuscript of The Way of All 
Flesh shows that Butler first thought of calling Theobald's parish "Bather's Bridge." 


Robert Bridges^ two or three times lately: he has called on 
me: but I cannot say that I much liked him though I am sure 
he is an excellent fellow. I shall probably be down at Langar in 
about a month and shall no doubt then see you, for present 
I will add no more but remain 

Your affectionate brother 

S. Butler. 

9. "Butler to <iMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C. 
Sunday July 4. [1869] 
My dear May 

I hope that long ere this reaches you my mother will have 
quite regained her tone & be none the worse for the really, as 
it sounds, serious check she has received. I hope the chemist 
has been threatened with an action for it is an abominable 
thing to have done. I have no doubt I shall have a line in a day 
or two to say how she is getting on, and in the mean time have 
taken for granted as I have not heard that all was going nicely. 
Do you have East wind there? "We do every day: it looks nice 
as the sky is bright & there is no rain, but it is nasty as it has no 
ozone in it. Now I want ozone. I can't do without ozone. I 
see by the Illustrated that ozone is brought from the sea by 
the West & S. West winds and that it doesn't come with an 
East Wind -^ — why I cannot tell, but I am very sensitive of its 
presence and should like some more of it. They say sunflowers 
exhale it — but they won't grow in Clifford's Inn or I would 
get some. In other respects I am very well and quite satisfied 
with my work, i.e. that it is all I cd wish it. I went to the Royal 

^Brother of Harriet's husband; he became poet laureate in 19 13. 

Letter 9: 

^ "The sea is the great reservoir of ozone . . . ocean phosphorescence is the 
chief source of its production. . . . The sea wind or equatorial is that of phos- 
phorescence and ozone . . . the polar or land wind is that of non-luminosity and 
no ozone" {Illustrated London News, May 22, 1869, p. 531c). 


Academy Soiree which was a brilliant affair. I liked it very- 
much — went early and stayed late. Prince Teck ^ was the only 
one of the Royal Family there as the others were with the 
Viceroy of ^gypt at Windsor.^ But I saw lots of notables — 
Millais — Leighton & many artists. Lord Cairns, Lord Lytton & 
several political swells, and there were plenty of people I knew. 
I hope I may get there again next year. I have painted a girl 
in a red figured satin dress in a pensive attitude looking down, 
with one hand to her head and another to her heart: I am go- 
ing to paint a fireplace and a burning correspondence behind 
her: this is one of Heatherley's greatest conceptions. This fort- 
night we have a man in Greek costume in an awkward mean- 
ingless attitude, & I don't quite see what I can do with him: 
the word Missolonghi haunts me vaguely as though it had 
some connection with the matter but what it will come to 
I don't know. I asked one of the men where & what Misso- 
longhi was. He said his sister was in a class when none of the 
girls knew where Missolonghi was — nor what. The governess 
said "Why my dears when I was your age I never could hear 
the name mentioned without bursting into tears." * Sic transit 
&c. I have heard nothing of Tom lately. Have the Woods & 
Forests people ^ put him out of his misery, & done what he 
wanted: I hope the straits softened the explosion; ^ what an 
awful thing it must have been, and one doesn't know how 
much they mayn't have in London (Nit. Glyc. I mean) & 
when it mayn't go off. Please give my best love to my mother 
& believe me your affectionate (sister) brother — 

S. Butler— 

^Francis Paul Charles Louis Alexander (i 837-1900), created Prince of Teck 
by the King of Wurtemberg. 

On the same evening as the Royal Academy soiree, there was a royal dinner 
party at "Windsor in honor of the visit of the Viceroy of Egypt. 

* Byron died at Missolonghi. Christina is given the same sensitivity in The Way 
of All Flesh, chap. 11. 

^ The Commissioners of Her Majesty's "Woods, Forests, and Land Revenues. 
Tom Butler's connection with them is obscure. 

" A few days before, two carts of nitroglycerin exploded in a deep valley in 


lo. "Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Hotel de la Lune 
Venice. Mar 20, 1870 
My dear May 

I got your pleasant note two or three or [more] days ago 
and am under a certain conviction of sin in not having an- 
swered it before I left Florence. I wrote last from Turin: 
I thence made for Modena, dropping a train at Parma and 
seeing the gallery chiefly famous for Correggio who is not one 
of my friends: the cathedral however is magnificent: at 
Modena there was a most interesting and really very fine col- 
lection: I went on thence in the afternoon to Florence where 
I spent exactly a week the greater part of wh: time I was in 
the UflSzi & Pitti galleries. I have had to alter and modify a 
good many opinions on this second visit to Florentine Gal- 
leries: you may perhaps remember that I went there 4-!^ years 
ago: my first impression was that some one had gone round 
and spoiled almost all the pictures in the interim, but after 
a while this wore off and though I see that the old masters are 
not everybody but that in some respects the moderns really 
are ahead of them, still I can retain my affection & admiration 
for them undiminished. One or two pictures however ex- 
ploded once & for ever: notably the 3 Fates by Michael An- 
gelo: it is impossible that he can have ever had any hand in 
them: ^ they are so very bad: I cannot comprehend how they 
can ever have obtained their reputation: the engravings ^ are 
worth 10 of the original picture. Guido Guercino & the Bolo- 
gnese school I hated pretty heartily already; but I hate them 
worse now: on the other hand Titian, Raphael, Bellini and the 
early painters seem to go up & up & up: also Rembrandt, 

Letter lo; 

^ Butler's view that the "Three Fates" was not by Michelangelo — as catalogued 
in the nineteenth century — is confirmed by recent scholarship. See Adolpho Ven- 
turi, Storia dell'Arte Italiana, IX, Part 6 (Milan: V. Hoepli, 1933), p. i6^n., and 
Bernard Berenson, Pitture Italiane del Rinascimento, tr. by Emilio Cecchi (Milan: 
V. Hoepli, 1936), p. 169. 

'^ Two studies of the heads of the Fates are in the Uffizi Gallery. 


Rubens & Vandyke: the weather was bitterly cold: snow fell 
a little one day, & I saw ice in the shade of the Pitti Palace: 
I walked over to Fiesole one afternoon & saw the walls: they 
really are fine. I left Florence yesterday morning & slept at 
Padua last night: this morning I saw Giotto's chapel: ^ this 
was a great treat & surprise: I knew he was a swell: but I had 
no idea what a tremendous swell he was: it is impossible to 
form any idea of his genius until one has seen this series of 
frescoes: there was no one fit to hold a candle to him for the 
next hundred years, and even now his manner of telling a 
story and his incidents — his ornamentation, & his colour will 
hold their own with any one. 

The town of Padua is one of the most delightful imag- 
inable, and I would gladly stay & work there but that the 
cold winds are so intolerable: sitting in any shady place is not 
to be thought of: and the N. wind is as cold as England: only 
in the sun is it warm: & even there the wind is fierce: I came 
on here this afternoon and have been prowling about the 
town ever since: the gallery was closed before I arrived: but 
I went through St. Mark's & the Ducal Palace: it's absurd 
writing about such places, I can only say that I know none 
like them: I wish I could give you any clue as to my move- 
ments: I shan't stay here longer than I can help: I can't get 
exercise enough: I shd think it will be about 3 or 4 days — 
not more: and shall come home sooner than I intended: now 
that I have left Mentone & find myself all alone & unsettled 
I begin to get very sick of it and to want to [get] back at my 
work again: or at any rate to be working at something * wh: 
I really cannot do here: my hands are now as cold as ice & I 
am wrapped up in my gt. coat & comforter: I expect this is 

^ The Madonna dell' Arena Chapel. Ruskin had praised it highly. See The Works 
of John Ruskin, ed. by Cook and Wedderburn, XXIV (London: G. Allen; New 
York: Longmans, Green, 1906), 13-123. 

* Though unaware of it at the time, Butler later came to feel that this trip 
to Venice marked a turning point in his career. Discouraged by his painting, he 
"went home resolved to do at any rate something, in literature, if not in painting — 
so I began tinkering up the old magazine articles I had written in New Zealand, 
& they strung themselves together into 'Erewhon' " (MS Notebooks, IV, 105— 
106; Memoir, I, 132-133). 


the last of it, but it shows no sign of changing: I have had 
that abominable song com'e gentil la notte al mezzo d'Avril ^ 
in my head for the last two months, & been hating the winter 
because I suspect that he would have put warm evenings 
earlier had they existed: as it is there are ii days of Mar. & 
15 of April before they can become warm; still al commincio 
d'Avril wdn't have come into the metre so he may be lying, 
& the end of March wouldn't have rhymed so there is a bare 
possibility that he may have driven them off to the middle of 
April on the score of his confounded poetry — I don't know — 
all I do know is that it is very cold. Still it is a great pleasure 
& profit to me to have seen so many pictures again. I won't go 
to Munich: if it gets warm very soon I will do a little out 
door work & then come home: if it doesn't then I'll come home 
at once — or before very long. I sent my pictures by grande 
Vitesse from Florence: but don't expect they'll be hung.^ I 
shall send in 5 in all. Mr. Heatherley will see to them for me. 
Miss Moberley was wrong in thinking I ran away from her: 
I tried the Splendide, and shd have gone there but they were 
full: I also tried the Mediteranee but saw it was full of for- 
eigners: I only went to the Grand Hotel because the Mog- 
gridges ^ told me they gave tea in the salon: I ran after the 
tea and not away from Miss Moberley: if Miss Moberley had 
been tea I would have followed her any where: staying at the 
Londres was purgatory: I never slept a single night comfort- 
able, & one or two nights hardly a wink: they had not a single 
newspaper, & except the Hallens who were good souls enough 
there was no one in the inn: I was wretched: I shd be 
wretched in this inn also: it is all French & German: if I stay 
longer in Venice than 3 or 4 days I will shift to some other: 
there isn't an English person in the hotel: I travelled yesterday 
with a very nice gentlemanly fellow who turned out to be son 

^ From the serenade in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Act III, scene vi. 

^ These paintings, submitted for the Royal Academy Exhibition which opened 
on April 30, were not accepted, but six of Butler's paintings were hung in the 
Academy's exhibitions from 1 869-1 876. 

'John Traherne Moggridge (b. 1842) was a friend of the Butler family who 
shared Canon Butler's interest in botany and his love of the French Riviera. 


of Rimmel the gt. perfumer: ^ but he was going to Ferrara to 
shoot snipes: I will leave this open till tomorrow & revolve 
upon my future movements so that I may tell you where to 

1 1 . Sutler to ^May 

Text: Garnett, pp. 200—201. 

1 5 Clifford's Inn, 
Sunday night. [July, 1870] 
Dear May, 

I got yours two or three mornings ago, and gather that you 
are at Maes-y-Porth; indeed, my conscience smites me that I 
have been a vile, bad correspondent to Etta: please let this be 
considered a joint epistle: if I am in Etta's black books (which 
I feel that I deserve to be) open them when she is not looking 
— scratch out my name — and write it in the white ones. I 
am so glad to hear good accounts of the children: I -mu^t come 
and see them as soon as ever I can: but won't trespass upon 
Tom and Etta's hospitality. I have been in a muddle about my 
paintings for some time past; that is at Heatherley's. I saved 
my last study; yet as by fire: I shall come out of this fit 
greatly strengthened: at least I hope so: I have had many such 
before, and I always gain after them, but this is a long one 
and a bad one, longer and worse than I have had for some 
time. I am very well, but very hot. I hope Tom will mend. 
I have taken to drinking a little wine and water and think it 
does me good. I like it awfully. With kind remembrances to 
Rachel and best love to the rest of you. 

Believe me your affectionate brother, 
S. Butler. 

'The great perfumer was Eugene Rimmel (1820-1887). He was particularly- 
well known in London, where he maintained three shops; he had one in Paris. 


12. ^May to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

July 8, 1872 
My dearest Sam 

The difficulty which you set before me is no new one.^ But 
I find it very hard myself to see how any clear unprejudiced 
mind can think the 2 accounts so irreconcileable as to effect 
[5/V] belief in the story told in either Gospel. I do not how- 
ever wish to send you any harmony of them, for two reasons — 
I. That you would probably find flaws in my harmony, know- 
ing so much better the little differences of the Greek &c. 2. 
That my views are not my own — (except in so far as all that 
thoroughly commends itself to one's common sense becomes 
one's own) but are gathered from such writers as Trench, 
Ellicott, Westcott ^ &c — whose books (or similar ones) you 
have probably read long ago if you have studied the subject 
from both sides at all. If not, I refer you to them, for they 
would speak for me far better than I should speak for myself. 
Even were it found impossible to harmonize the two accounts 
exactly — as perhaps in some minor sense it may be — I can see 
no difficulty in believing that both would prove true if one 
knew all the facts. It is constantly happening in daily life that 
two almost opposite statements both prove true. I remember 
such an instance striking us much lately when Papa & Tom 
were abroad — when two accounts might have reached us of 
their movements apparently quite contradictory, yet both 
would have been true, & would have wanted only a connecting 

Letter 12: 

^ Butler studied closely the differences between the accounts of Christ's life 
given by Mark and Matthew. In chap. 5 of The Fair Haven (which he was 
writing at this time) , he disposes of the argument for their harmony which May 
advances in this letter. In this chapter he says: "Those who say that we should 
find no difficulty if we knew all the facts are still careful to abstain from any 
example (so far as I know) of the sort of additional facts which would serve 
their purpose." 

^ Writers on the harmony of the Gospels, all particularly well known at this 
time because they were serving on the Committee for the Revision of the New 


link out of our power to supply to make them both intelli- 

There are, no doubt, numberless difficulties in the Bible 
history — but the difficulties of unbelief in the great Bible facts, 
such as the Resurrection, are beyond question greater, even 
historically, than those of belief — & we acknowledge a higher 
evidence (their truth in their present potent power) than 
even historical evidence can give. 

It is impossible to live in these days, & not be awake to 
many of the questions & difficulties afloat — & there are few 
who have any powers of thought at all, who are not led to 
some extent, at least, to examine the ground on which they 
stand. I think that we have perhaps both thought and read 
more than you think. 

If you still have my letter, & will look at it again, you 
will see that what I represented as unfair was not that you 
did not tell us your views, but that you wrote about them 
(before) you had done so.^ Mere curiosity is a thing which 
can have no place in such a (question) if there is any heart in 
the matter. 

I would most gladly have believed that [there] were points 
in common between us, & tried thro' them to understand 
your position. If, however, you do not wish to reply to my 
questions on any terms but those of following your difficulties 
step by step, I can but say that I am scarcely strong enough 
for such a strain, either physically or intellectually. 

Yet (without despising intellect a bit) it must be spiritual- 
ity y not intellect which is the guide to spiritual truth. I do not 
mean to set myself up as having attained this, but I think it 
is the way by which such truth has & will widen out and 
become clearer & clearer. When we come to know perfectly, 
we believe that spiritual truth & intellectual truth will never 
be found to have been at cross purposes. 

It has been terribly hot here, & I hope you are not still 

^ Butler had recently told his family that he was the author of an anonymous 
pamphlet "The Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as Given by the 
Four Evangelists, Critically Examined," published in 1865. 


overworking. Papa & Mamma & I are hoping to go abroad in 
August, if a curate can be got by that time, & think of 
Chateau d'Oex or Les Plans.* We do not want to go too far 
away, or into uncivilized regions, on Mamma's account. 

She is now at Kenilworth,^ & seems enjoying the change. 
Harrie is here — looking very well — a bright letter from Etta 
— seems to like Bangor thoroughly, & she sounds very well 

Goodbye, dear Sam, I am glad you are still practising. 

Yr. very affectionate sister 


i^. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Garnett, pp. 202—204. 

[15 Clifford's Inn] 
Feb. 23, 1873. 
Dear May, 

Thank you for yours received a few days ago, whereby I 
learnt, and was glad to learn, your change of abode. ^ I always 
fancy that Mentone is the nicest of all those places except 
perhaps Bordighera and San Remo. I hope my mother has 
been able to get out and gain ground, and that with spring 
she may do so still more, but it is hard to imagine spring any- 
where just now, for we are having a thoroughly heavy day's 
snow, with all its attendant dreariness, and for the last month 
the wind has always been North and North-East. I have been 
confined to my rooms this last three weeks, though not seri- 

* Les Planches — like Chateau d'Oex a Swiss resort. 

^ At the Stone House, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, birthplace of Butler's grand- 
father, and at this time the home of Butler's cousins. 

^Butler later wrote on this letter: "There had been an earlier letter from her, 
which I am sorry to say I cannot find. It was much worse than this." 

Letter 13: 

^ Canon and Mrs. Butler and May spent most of the winter of 1 872-1 873 at 
Mentone in an effort to improve Mrs. Butler's health. She died there on April 9. 


ously amiss. I was getting on to the top of a 'bus and the 
driver began to go on without warning, and I fell, fortunately 
not far, and on my feet, but not rightly on my feet, and 
have sprained myself — but I am nearly well now, and can 
walk half a mile or so. In health I never was better, in spite 
of confinement almost to an armchair for a fortnight, but not 
in any pain worth mentioning. It has thrown me out a good 
deal and I have done no painting, or music. 

I read Traherne Moggridge's book ^ and liked it immensely. 
It is excellently written, and very interesting. I am very 
sorry to hear of his being so ill, pray remember me to him 
very kindly. 

When do you think of returning? I presume not before 
the middle of April. — Since my last I have dined nowhere, 
seen no one, but Hoare ^ and Pauli and a few others, and 
heard nothing, having indeed been laid up almost the whole 
time; but I have read a good many books, a duty which I 
have too greatly neglected lately. I have not seen them at 
Taviton Street since Xmas, but shall hope now to call there 
very shortly; and what is worse, I have only once been to 
the Old Masters,^ where I positively must go again before it 
closes. It is a lovely exhibition. I don't suppose you much care 
about politics, but I am getting deeply disgusted with the 
present condition of affairs, and Pauli and I have both re- 
solved to vote for the Conservatives next time ^ — not, I fear, 
that they will be much better, but because nothing can be 
worse than these people now in power. 

I wish I could tell you more that would be likely to interest 
you, but for the last three or four weeks I have been neither 
interested nor interesting — yes, I have been interested in a 
good deal that I have read; in one novel — the only one I have 

^ Contributions to the Flora of Mentone, and to a Winter Flora of the Riviera 
(1867). (See note 7 for Letter 10 [March 20, 1870].) 

^ Henry Hoare. (See note i for Letter 6.) 
The Royal Academy exhibit of old masters; it opened on January 4 and 
closed on March 8. 

^ General reaction against Gladstone's domestic reforms — in the ballot, the civil 
service, the army, and the courts — and his liberal attitude toward Irish Catholics 
led to his defeat in the election of 1874. 


read — especially. It is called Ready Money Mortihoy,^ and is 
very powerful and clever, but I don't think you would much 
like it. There are few good novels written now. 

I trust you are well and cheerful yourself and that you 
have found friends who are a pleasure to you, and I need not 
say how sincerely I trust that my mother is going on comfort- 
ably. You need not be in the least uneasy about me. I am only 
a little lame, and another week or ten days will set me quite 

Your affectionate brother, 

S. Butler. 

14, <tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

{The following letter from Butler's father contains a postscript by May.'\ 

Hotel dltalie Mentone [France] 
Alpes Maritimes, Mar. 2., 1873 
Dear Sam 

You will I know be sorry to hear that I can give but a 
sad account of your Mother. She has for some time suffered 
a great deal of pain & it is only kept under by Morphia in- 
jected under the skin, but the saddest sympton is her almost 
constant sickness. 

Of course she takes little food & has become thin. She 
constantly mentions you. If I say with anxiety & distress I 
must also say with the deepest affection & love. May is an 
unspeakable comfort to us. 

I am most anxious to be able to bring her home. And the 
doctors give me hope that this paroxysm may pass & that I 
may yet be able to do so. I trust they may be right. They say 

"The first (1872) of the popular novels on which "Walter Besant and James 
Rice collaborated. Butler had begun The Way of All Flesh at this time and was 
no doubt attracted by the way Besant and Rice twisted the prodigal-son-returned 
plot so that a most unrepentant son returns in order to victimize his miserly 


there is no appearance of any immediate sinking but she is 
sadly weak. 

I think she would like you to know that she finds prayer an 
inexpressible comfort & that her faith is able to support her 
in the suffering which she endures. 

If she should rally I should move as soon as she was able 
to bear it. If otherwise, God's will be done. She has been a 
blessing & a comfort unspeakable to me for 42 years.^ 

Yr. affectionate father 
T. Butler 

I must add a line of my own to Papa's letter, dearest Sam. 
I am afraid it will make you very uneasy. "We cannot help 
being so sometimes, for this sickness tells so very much upon 
her strength. Yet I quite hope & think it will pass away again. 
We had thought of sending for Harrie if it were likely that 
we should be here quite indefinitely, but the doctors give us 
every hope that this will not be the case, & if so, it is better 
for us all to be spared the excitement of a fresh home face, 
& for Mama to be kept from the feeling that she was so much 
worse as Harriets coming out so late in the season would imply. 
I am quite well — & don't get knocked up — people are so won- 
derfully kind all round us. If Mama knew we were writing she 
would send you her warmest love. She says sometimes that 
she hopes you all know how much she thinks of you tho' 
she cannot write. 

Yr. loving sister 


Letter 14: 

^ " 'She has been the comfort and mainstay of my life for more than thirty 
years,' said Theobald as soon as all was over, 'but one could not wish it prolonged,' 
and he buried his face in his handkerchief to conceal his want of emotion" {The 
Way of All Flesh, chap. 83). 


I J. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Garnett, pp. 204-206. 

1 5 Clifford's Inn, 
Mar. 12, 1873. 
Dear May, 

I have to thank you for a Uttle box of pretty flowers which 
arrived quite safely last night, and the flowers look as if they 
had been only gathered yesterday. Thank you very much for 
sending them. By your silence I gather that my mother is 
going on well, and I most heartily trust that I may be right 
in so conjecturing. No meals but a little light food every 
hour is really alarming to me, and I shall be very thankful to 
hear any better account. What is it that the doctors say is the 
matter with her? I never rightly understand; and do they 
hold out hopes that she will ere long return to her former 
state of health? I presume and conclude that they do by your 
saying that they take a bright view of the case, but so much 
and such long-continued sickness and pain is most distressing 
to hear of, and must I fear, be hardly less wearing to you than 
to herself. Pray let me have another line or two in a day or 
two, and give my mother all kind messages from myself. 

I am very sorry to say that I am laid up again. Having been 
allowed to walk, I fear I overdid it, though I am not aware 
that I exceeded permission; the consequence is that I am com- 
pelled to keep perfectly quiet again, though I trust for no 
considerable period. My health is excellent. I sit in an arm- 
chair, with my leg up, and paint from my own head. I be- 
lieve I am doing a far better one than any I have done yet, and 
shall send it in to the Academy.^ I should have gone to Heath- 
erley's on Monday, but it was plainly out of the question, for 
any position save a semi-recumbent one causes a return of 
swelling and tendency to inflamation; I suspect the trio Sam- 
sons ^ which I went to last week had as much to do with it 

Letter 15: 

^ It was not accepted. 

^ The full three-part version of Handel's oratorio "Samson" was given by 
different companies on March 6 and 7. 


as overwalking. Fortunately, as long as I keep quiet I am in 
no pain, and am well and interested in what I am doing. I am 
also reading Middlemarcb; it is very clever, but that is a 
matter of course; nevertheless her characters are not lovable, 
and there is something hard about the book, which makes it 
grate upon one, though I do not exactly know what it is.^ 

I forget where the Hotel d'ltalie is, but fancy that it is in 
the East Bay, not far from the Gran Bretagne.* Did I tell 
you that I had been one evening to the home of the two old 
Smiths, daughters of one of the authors of Rejected Ad- 
dresses? ^ I met some distinguished literary people there. I 
think I must have done so. Other news I have none. 

Your affectionate brother, 

S. Butler. 

1 6, "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Garnett, pp. 207-209. Extracts published: Malcolm Muggeridge, The Earnest 
Atheist (Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1936), pp. 192-193. 

1 5 Clifford's Inn, E. C. 
Mar. 24, Monday afternoon. [1873] 
My dear May, 

My father's and your joint letter reached me this morning, 
and I am deeply grieved at the desponding tone of my father's 
half. In spite of the more cheerful tone of your portion of 
the letter, and of the report of the medical men, I cannot help 
being thoroughly anxious and alarmed. I rack my brains in 
vain to think of anything which I could do toward alleviating 

^Butler states his opinion of Middle-march more forcefully to Miss Savage: 
"I call it bad ... a long-winded piece of studied brag, clever enough I dare say, 
but to me at any rate singularly unattractive" (letter of ca. March i8, 1873, 
Butler-Savage Letters, p. 40). Jones {Memoir, I, 184) suggests that Miss Savage 
had recommended the book to Butler. 

* Butler is referring to hotels in Venice. They are on the East Bay. 

^ Butler must have seen Eliza, known as "Miss Horace Smith," and Rosalind, 
two daughters of Horatio (Horace) Smith (1779— 1849), collaborator with James 
Smith (1775-18 39) on Rejected Addresses, or, the New Theatrum Poetarum 
(18 12), a parody of the Romantic poets. 


pain, the account of which is most distressing to me. Alas! I 
can do nothing. I can understand your wishing to remain 
alone together as long as it is possible to do so, but I trust 
that you will not allow any immediate danger to arise with- 
out sending for me at once. I could not think of myself as 
going about my daily affairs and my mother lying perhaps at 
the point of death, without a sight of the one whom I am very 
sure that she loves not the least of her children. It would be 
intolerable to me to think of this, yet I know and deeply 
regret that my presence could not be without its embarrass- 
ments.^ However, you must judge for yourselves, and I trust 
that the necessity may not arise. I am still a close prisoner, 
closer than ever; fortunately still well, and still painless, and 
not threatened with any serious complications, nevertheless a 
troublesome and unpleasant complication has arisen, which I 
cannot enter into more than to say that it is utterly unim- 
portant except in so far as it keeps me a prisoner. But what is 
this in comparison with what you must yourselves be wit- 
nessing! I find nothing so depressing to myself as the sight of 
suffering in others; but how much more so when the sufferer 
is the one whom one would naturally most desire to save from 
suffering. You will say then why have written Erewhon? 
The mistake was in not keeping it more quiet, and then in 
thinking that the very great success which the book has met 
with would make my father and mother proud of my having 
written it. I suppose you know that The Coming Race — the 
book which Erewhon was allowed to have equalled, if not 
more, was by Lord Lytton? ^ I thought my father and mother 

Letter i6: 

^ In the spring of 1873 Butler asked his parents* approval of his plan to 
acknowledge his authorship of Erewhon in the second edition. His father replied 
that he might do as he pleased but because he had written Erewhon could never 
visit Langar again. Butler's next interview was at Mentone, shortly after he wrote 
this letter, when his mother was dying. At his mother's funeral his father told 
him that the publication of Erewhon had killed her. (Correspondence in the 
British Museum.) 

^ Like Erewhon, The Coming Race was an anonymously published satire on 
scientific Utopias. It appeared in 1871, and it soon became known that Bulwer- 
Lytton (Edward George Earle Lytton, first baron) had written it. Erewhon ap- 
peared in 1872 and was at first thought to be a sequel by Bulwer-Lytton; sales 
were brisk until Butler announced that he was the author. 


would be proud of my having met with the approbation of 
the most intelHgent classes of my countrymen, and that not 
in half measure, but in whole measure. I am sorry I was mis- 
taken. But had I known that my mother's health was failing 
at the time, I would have kept it back. Whatever else I do, I 
will do my utmost to do without it reaching the ears of those 
whom it will pain; but I cannot hold my tongue. 

Pray thank my father for his letter, and assure him that 
I will endeavour to cause no anxiety which I can avoid, either 
to him or to any of you. Give my very best love to my 
mother, and believe me 

Your affectionate brother, 

S. Butler.^ 

I J. "Sutler to <tMay 

Text: Garnett, pp. 209-212. 

15 Clifford's Inn, Fleet St., 
Aug. 5, 1873 
Dear May, 

I am afraid it is a long time since I wrote to you, and now 
I have to thank you for a pleasant letter from which I am 
truly glad to find that you are better and stronger; still I 
fear that you are far from being so strong and well as we 
could all wish you to be. I am glad you like the children,^ 
and hope you are not too much fatigued with them. As you 
know, Charlie and Elsie are my two favourites, though I have 
no sort of quarrel with the other two. But it is now some time 
since I saw them. 

By the way, can you find out for me the address of my 
father's brokers. It used, I think, to be 29 Threadneedle 
Street,^ but I could not find it there the other day. I am 

^Butler's mother died in April, 1873. 

Letter ij: 

^ Tom and Etta's children. 

^ Henry Tudor & Son, a firm founded by Henry Tudor o£ Shrewsbury; their 
address was still 29 Threadneedle Street, London. 


expecting a considerable sum of money ,^ and should wish to 
know their address. Hitherto I have always used Hoare's 
brokers, and shall continue to do so if Hoare wishes it, but 
should myself prefer to go to someone else if I could find 
someone on whom I could depend. I see they have had a meet- 
ing against moving Shrewsbury School.* Mr. Tudor wrote to 
me, and I answered that though I am a consenting party to 
the sale of one of the possible sites, I have never made any 
secret of my thinking that any change of site is inexpedient — 
as indeed I most decidedly do. I am glad to see that my father 
seems not unwilling to afford any facility for the retaining 
[of] the present site. I cannot see that there is sufficient 
ground for a change; but I expect that the opposition has 
come too late. I see they read a letter from me at the meeting, 
of which the above is the substance. I was at school with 
Tudor, and have seen him occasionally since. 

I have been to Dieppe for a week since I wrote and painted 
a little picture of the cliffs. I should have stopped there longer 
but I had not a soul to speak to, and feeling really very well, 
I came back and am now working regularly at Heatherley's, 
not uncomfortably. Harrie wants me to come down to Vent- 
nor.^ I will go later on, but have only just come back from an 

There is nothing going on in town just now and everyone 
is gone or going away. For my own part, I like this time well 
enough. The extreme heat is over, and as soon as this is the 
case London becomes very pleasant. I am sorry to hear of 

'Butler was expecting £8000, which he had recalled from New Zealand; 
on the advice of Henry Hoare, he was about to invest most of it in the ill-fated 
Canada Tanning Extract Company. 

* Land in which Butler had a contingent interest, Whitehall, was considered 
as a possible new site for Shrewsbury School. John Tudor, who was at Shrewsbury 
School with Butler in 1854, organized a committee in opposition to any move 
(see his letter to the Times, August 25, 1873, p. 4e) . This committee's proposal 
that the school be expanded in its present location was supported by Butler's 
father, who oflFered to sell the school his property contiguous to it (Times, 
August 27, 1873, p. 4f). It was finally decided to move the school to the suburbs, 
but not to the site in which the Butlers had interests. 

^ At this time Harrie maintained a home at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. 


Gretton's ^ mishap. An artist friend of mine has been nearly 
killed in the Wigan accident ^ and, I fear, is much hurt. With 
kind love to Etta and the children, believe me your affectionate 

S. Butler. 

1 8. "Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 
{Written on black-bordered paper ^] 

15, Clifford's Inn E. C. 
Nov. 12. 1873. 
My dear May 

I am told there is a report that I have written a book in 
which I have introduced my father.^ I fear lest this report 
should reach you and am anxious to contradict it. I have writ- 
ten no book in which any single character is drawn from life 
— or to my knowledge hinted at — and shall never do so. All 
that I have written now bears my name,^ and it is not my 
intention to write again anonymously. If you hear of any 
book's being assigned to me which does not bear my name 
please to contradict the report. I haven't the faintest concep- 

® Frederick Edward Gretton (1803— 1890), a friend of Butler's father, at this 
time rector of Oddington, Gloucestershire. 

^ The night express to Scotland was derailed at Wigan on August 2, 1873. 
Butler's friend, John Fraser (i 839-1898), an artist known for his water land- 
scapes of Scotland, suffered a fractured collarbone and bruises about the head 
{Times, August 4, 1873, p. 12a). 

Letter 18: 

^ Because of the death of his mother. 

^ Butler was perhaps incautiously open about his work on The Way of All Flesh 
in his correspondence with his friends. See, for example, his letter to Frederick 
Gard Fleay in August, 1873 (Hoppe, pp. 172—173). He was, however, anxious to 
keep the novel secret from his family — and partly for that reason it was never 
published during his lifetime. 

^ Butler's anonymous pamphlet "The Evidence for the Resurrection" was not 
reissued and thus did not bear his name, though much of it was used in The 
Fair Haven, the second edition of which was signed. He did not publish anony- 
mously again. 


tion what the present report can allude to — but contradict it 

Of course I expect to be vilified for what I have written 
and shall probably write: but I write on public grounds, for 
the public — introducing public and common types of char- 
acter, and looking solely to the verdict of the public, who I 
imagine would severely blame me for personalities even if I 
were inclined to indulge in them, which I certainly am not. 
With all good wishes both to Harrie & yourself. Believe me 

Your affectionate brother 
S— Butler. 

i^. 'Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

[En route to Montreal ^] 
Sat. June 20. (?) ^ [1874] 
Dear May 

We are now well in the St. Lawrence only about 300 miles 
from Quebec — and expect to be there by this time tomorrow. 
I hope to send this off by the pilot boat. We have had a de- 
lightful passage — no rough weather, no fog, pleasant fellow 
passengers and no misadventures of any kind. I was not sea 
sick for a moment, and in fact have enjoyed the voyage ex- 
tremely. It has already done me infinite good, far more than 
a trip to Switzerland or Italy wd have done in the same time, 
and I look forward to returning as well as ever I was in my 
life or better, for I have still six clear weeks of holiday or 
what is just as good, and am already in very good condition. 
We saw some fine ice bergs: they are quite equal to their 
reputation for beauty: we are now passing close to the coast — 

Letter 19; 

^ Butler was on the first of three unsuccessful trips to Canada as representative 
of the English stockholders in the Canada Tanning Extract Company. The ex- 
tract tanned leather cheaply, but to such a nauseous color that it could not be sold. 

^Butler's question mark. The date is correct. 


a lovely cloudless day and I grudge every minute that I am 
not on deck. Every bit of land that could be seen we saw as 
there was no fog — the South Coast of New Foundland is very 
bleak: mountains ranging up to I shd think 1800 or 2000 
feet, but with large fields of snow, and sometimes gullies with 
snow filling them not more than 200 or 300 ft. above the 
sea. I hope that Harrie is quite well by this time. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler- 
Sunday. No letter went off with the pilot boat, so I post this 
at Quebec which we reach in 3 or 4 hours: all well. 

20. "Butler to <iMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Frid. Augt. 13, 1875 
In the St. Lawrence — ^ 
address: "Cana. Tang. Ext. Co. Ld, Montreal" — 
Dear May 

I did not get yours of the 4th till some time after we had 
started, people not knowing my name, and I not expecting a 
letter. The screw shakes the ship so that I can hardly write 
but I send a few lines which I can drop at Father Point where 
we take in the pilot. 

We have made an unprecendently [5/c] quick passage, but 
the icebergs in the straits were many and dangerous; we 
passed near some very large ones. Lord Houghton ^ and other 
notables are on board and have shewn me much civility — 
Lord Houghton giving me a letter of introduction to Lord 
Dufferin ^ which I may or may not present. On the whole it 

Letter 20: 

^ Butler was on his second trip to Canada. 

^Butler does not tell May — as he does Miss Savage — that he won 265. from 
Lord Houghton (Richard Monckton Milnes [i 809-1 885]) at whist. 

^ Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, first Marquis of Dufferin and 
Ava (1826-1902), at this time Governor-General of Canada. 


has been an agreable ^ passage — but I shall be glad to be get- 
ting on in my absence — 

Please excuse more, the saloon is full of people and the screw 
makes writing a slow process. With all kind love believe me 

Your affectionate brother 

S. Butler— 

21. "Butler to <iMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Hotel del Angelo, Faido — June 2, 1876. 

Address: Poste Restante 

Como, Italy. 
Dear May 

I have not heard from Langar since a few days before I left 
home and think it not impossible that a letter to me may have 
miscarried, so write this line to say that I am well, or at any 
rate a good deal better than when I left — but I believe I had 
gone to the extreme length of my tether before I did leave. I 
am getting a lot of material together which will I think be 
useful to me, but have not yet hit upon a system which quite 
satisfies me — tho' going round it in gradually narrowing 
circles — at least I hope so. However in one shape or another I 
believe I have all that is necessary for 5 pictures and I need 
not say hope to get enough for many more before I return. I 
think a fairly large extremely careful outline — as a com- 
panion to it a smaller study in oil without any slavish ad- 
herence to form but aiming chiefly at effect and colour. These 
two things shd be enough. This at least is the system towards 
which I seem to be gravitating. 

I have had no events and made no acquaintances — I may 
mention one incident. The church porch at Prato ^ pleased me 

* Miss Savage chided Butler about his spelling of "agreeable": "[It] is spelt 
with two e's. I mention this because you never will put more than one" (Novem- 
ber 10, 1873, Butler-Savage Letters, p. 75). 

Letter 21: 

^ For Butler's sketches and description of this church and the town of Prato, 
Switzerland, see Alps and Sanctuaries, pp. 25, 28, 30. 


exceedingly and I had made a study of it — doubting how far 
it was the correct thing to eat my lunch in the porch I had 
gone round to the back of the church to eat my lunch in a 
field where a poor woman was weeding corn: we talked for 
some time and I, meaning to be amiable shewed her my study 
of the porch — she examined it for some little time and then 
extending her hands in an imploring manner she exclaimed 
"Signore mio, son pratica far la contadina, ma per la geo- 
graphia non son capace." ^ 

Hoping that you are all well I am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler. 

I shall leave here the day after tomorrow — I think. 

Perhaps better in each letter say where you addressed to — 
so that if I have not had it I may write. I wrote from here a 
week ago — and I think from Wassen also. 

S. B. 

22, 'Sutler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, I, 274-275. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
Fleet Street E. C. 
Mar. 27. 1878 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's of the eighteenth in answer to which 
I have very little of importance, but have an evening un- 
occupied which as I have for some time been painting at 
night, does not too often happen. I believe the most interesting 
piece of intelligence I can send is that I saw an open cowslip in 
a boy's hand — root, flower and all, on Sunday last. I had my 
self seen some buds very nearly open, and last Sunday fort- 
night found some buds just beginning to show. I am not 

^ "Dear sir, I am a good peasant woman, but I'm no good at geography." 
Butler spells the Italian word geograiia as if it were English. He repeats the 
story to Miss Savage in his letter of June 4 (Butler-Savage Letters, p. 130). 


however fortunate enough to find a head actually in flower. 
The same afternoon however it came on to snow — the same 
squall that must have wrecked the Eurydice ^ — and in an 
hour the ground was fairly white: since then the weather has 
been bitter. 

I send in four things to the Academy ^ — two portraits, an 
oil landscape, and a watercolour landscape — but I am not very 
sanguine; indeed, I am distinctly depressed about my work at 
present, and wonder whether I ever shall paint; on the other 
hand, I have had these depressions very often, and know that 
they come more from being able to see what I could not see 
before than anything else. . . . 

I dined out the other day and took in a very pretty young 
lady to dinner, and sat opposite a very nice, quiet gentlemanly 
man to whom I vented now and again Conservative opinions 
which I imagined were well received. When the others were 
gone, I asked my hostess who it was I had taken in to dinner, 
and was told it was Miss Cobden (Cobden's daughter) . I 
then asked who had sat opposite me. "Mr. Chamberlain, M.P. 
for Birmingham," was the reply .^ Really people should not 
introduce one in a perfectly inaudible voice. 

I am sorry you should think my sending those reviews to 
my father was "forcing differences upon him." * That was 
not my intention, but rather to show him that disinterested 
third parties considered me as in more substantial agreement 
[with him] than he was perhaps aware of. And this I believe 
to be true; indeed I am more and more sure of it every year. 

Letter 22: 

^ On the afternoon of March 24, 1878, 300 lives were lost when an extraor- 
dinarily violent and sudden squall captized the naval training ship Eurydice off 
Ventnor. Snow fell heavily for a short time after the squall passed. 

^ They were not accepted. 

^ The hostess was Mary Beale, nee Thompson, wife of William Phipson Beale 
(1839— 1922), a barrister; she was a close friend of Butler and Jones. Richard 
Cobden (1804— 1865) — he had five daughters — and Joseph Chamberlain (1836— 
19 14) represented two generations of Liberal politics, which Butler abhorred. 

* Butler sent his father two reviews of Life and Habit, which was published in 
December, 1877: one from Truth (January 31, 1878, p. 155), and one from 
the Standard (February 28, 1878, p. 2). The reviews are short and only cau- 
tiously approve the book, but they do state its thesis that evolution is controlled 
by design, and not, as Darwin believed, by chance. 


However, I sincerely hope this bitter weather is doing no harm 

either to him or you. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler. 

2}. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Hotel del Angelo, Faido — 
Canton Tessin, Switzerland 
Mond. July 22, 1878 
Dear May 

Thank you for yours of the 17th from which I was glad 
to gather that you were enjoying yourself. I am doing the 
same, and am rapidly getting set up again ^ — or — to speak 
more accurately — am getting set up again steadily, and in 
such a way as makes me perfectly easy that there is nothing 
really wrong with me. 

So you are reading the Seven Lamps.^ It is so long since I did 
so that I have quite forgotten them, but I remember being 
very enthusiastic about them when I was at Cambridge — and 
I have no doubt (that) there is a great deal that is very true in 
them. I will look at them again when I get home, and see 
whether I still like them. The general impression however on 
my mind concerning Ruskin is one of decided dislike. I am 
myself occupied with Lord Beaconsfield's novels. Admiring 
him very heartily I wanted to read his younger work with 
considerable care, and have taken with me the worst as well as 
the best that he has done. I have just finished The Young 

Letter 23; 

^ Late in 1877 Butler abandoned his attempt to make painting his career, 
though he remained a devoted amateur. At that time he returned to the writing 
of The Way of All Flesh, but by July 8, 1878, he was too tired and too dis- 
satisfied with what he had written to go on; depressed, he left for a holiday on 
the Continent {Butler-Savage Letters, pp. 158', 188). 

^ Ruskin's Seven Lamps of Architecture was published in 1849, seven years 
before Butler went up to St. John's. 


Duke,^ and must own to having found it rather laborious 
reading in spite of many briUiant sayings wh: it contains, but 
as we all well know (epigrammatic) (I have scratched out this 
word because I don't know whether epigrammatic shd or shd 
not have two m's) epigrams and smart sayings are a delusion 
and a snare unless used sparingly — the greater part of a book, 
like the greater part of a life, or a building, shd be plain 
straightforward, and business like. No one I am sure knows 
this now better than Lord Beaconsfield, but one sees he had to 
learn it by experience, and this is pleasant and enhances the 
pleasure & interest of Lothair which is certainly a most de- 
lightful book. 

Yesterday afternoon I went to look at the Woodsias of wh: 
I had found some magnificent specimens. Imagine my disgust 
at finding them — or most of them — quite dead — withered by 
the intense heat of the last week. I had thought they were 
growing in a place (in) which sensible Woodsias wd not have 
chosen, but they were so magnificently grown that I con- 
cluded they knew their own business. 

I have found a subject for my "magnum opus" of this 
summer. It is the interior of a church at Giornico 6 miles off * 
— and I think it will come well, but it will take me some time 
to do. It is a very early and remarkable building now disused 
or nearly so. 

The pigeons here come into my room while I am writing, 
and I have to keep chasing them out. Of course I like them, 
but the housemaid doesn't. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

^Disraeli published The Young Duke, a political novel, in 183 1 when he was 
27. Lothair, written after his first ministry, appeared 39 years later. 

* Giornico is south of Faido on the Ticino river. The projected "magnum opus," 
Butler's sketch of the Romanesque church of San Niccolo da Mira, is on pp. 54- 
5 5 of Alps and Sanctuaries. 


24' "Sutler to ^May 

Text: Garnett, pp. 212-213. 

15 Clifford's Inn, E. C, 
Oct. 21, 1878. 
Dear May, 

Thank you for yours of the 1 5 th. What a journey you must 
have had. I was much pleased to hear of Maggie Goodwin's 
engagement, as I have the greatest respect for comic talent, 
and if young Mr. Brown has an engagement in London I will 
make a point of going to hear him. 

I am decidedly better, and have enjoyed a short outing to 
the Isle of Wight. Harrie had often asked me, and as I had 
not seen her for over two years, I determined to run down. 
She gave me a hearty welcome, made me exceedingly com- 
fortable, and I enjoyed my visit very much; but I only 
stayed one day as I am anxious to send in two things for the 
Dudley,^ on the 4th prox. I saw Carisbrooke Castle, which I 
had never seen, and which is very good. Also, I saw Chichester 
on my return, which was quite a surprise — it is so fine: the 

Norman nave is magnificent. I hear C G ^ is going 

to live there, but did not succeed in seeing the house she is to 
occupy, which Harrie rather wished me to do. . . . Very 
sorry to hear of Mr. W. Lloyd's ^ return of illness. I hope you 
will use your influence with my father to prevent his doing 
more preaching than is good for him. Three Sundays running, 
or nearly so (as by your last letter) , would seem as though he 
were more in demand than I could wish. Pray give him my 
love and believe me 

Your affectionate brother, 
S. Butler. 

Letter 24: 

^ The Twelfth Annual Exhibition of Cabinet Pictures in Oil opened at the 
Dudley Gallery on November 23, 1878 — without a contribution from Butler. 

^Carrie Glover (Frances Caroline Glover, nee Bridges), Harrie's sister-in-law. 
(See note 4 for Letter i.) Her house, "The Treasury," was in the cloisters of 
Chichester Cathedral. 

^William Valentine Lloyd (1825-1896), vicar of Marton, Shropshire, in 1857- 
1858, but at this time chaplain in the Royal Navy. 


25. Sutler to <iMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 
\y7ritten on black-bordered paper ^] 

15, Clifford's Inn 
E. C. 

Jany. 18, 1879 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's of the sixteenth. I hope that you are 
really none of you much the worse for this weather — but I 
shall I am sure be a great deal better when it (was) is over. 
Yesterday black fog — dense midnight for more than an hour 
about noon, and candles necessary all day. Today a heavy wet 
slushy snow storm from 8 o'clock till now (4.30) and looks 
like going to take up and freeze again. Have you yet seen an 
aconite? or a snowdrop? I have not even seen a sign of either 
above ground, nothing but a few crocus tops. 

By the way I am sorry I forgot to thank you for the House 
that Jack Built. I had seen it, as also John Gilpin,^ which is no 
less amusing — quite as good I think but not better. I am be- 
ginning to think that that kind of art is the only kind worth 
living for, except portraiture and landscape, and the dreams 
of such men as Bellini, Botticelli, & Mantegna. However thank 
you very much for sending it. I was painting out of doors 
yesterday for more than [an] hour, and very glad I was to 
have been out when I returned and found the fog in full 
possession of London. Today I have been at the Museum. I was 
compelled sorely against my will to begin looking through 
Buffon — 44 quarto volumes.^ I had never heard anything of 

Letter 25; 

^ "I fancy I must have found some old mourning paper, and used it having 
none other handy" — Butler's note on his letter to Miss Savage dated February 3, 
1879 {Butler-Savage Letters, p. 197). 

^Shilling children's books which appeared in 1878. "John Gilpin" is Cowper's 
poem, reprinted with illustrations by Randolph Caldecott. 

^ There are 44 quarto volumes in the Museum's set of Histoire naturelle, 
general et particuliere, avec la description du cabinet du rot (Paris, 1 749-1 804) 
by Buflfon and his collaborators. Butler was trying to demonstrate that Darwin's 


him except that he was a beautiful writer, but very superficial 
and inaccurate. Every one in fact thinks it right to throw a 
stone at him: however in the course of my work it became 
necessary that I shd go through a good deal that he has done, 
and I can hardly express the surprise and pleasure which I 
have derived from doing so, tho' I am not yet a quarter 
through him. I shall certainly, as the Americans say "run 
him." He is so broad, simple, and full of common sense that I 
feel when reading him almost as tho' I were listening to an air 
of Handel. 

By the way Harrie writes me she is going to read Professor 
Mivart's Lessons from Nature — the Professor Mivart she adds, 
whom I met. Harrie is taking advantage here of the privilege 
of her sex. I only said I was asked to meet to [sic] Prof. 
Mivart ^ — and so I was — but Prof. Mivart never came — so I 
did not meet him. 

What a scandalous estimate about the schools! I am so glad. 
I regard the whole thing as a dirty piece of intrigue, and like 
all other really charitable people take pleasure in any dis- 
favour which may attach to those who differ from me. I have 
not yet seen them at Chester Terrace.^ I hope my father still 
adheres to his idea of going abroad in the spring; I cd have 
wished he had done so earlier. 

With all best wishes to you both I am Yr affte brother 

S. Butler— 

theory of evolution not only was derived from older theorists but was also in 
many respects not as valid. (See Butler's Evolution, Old and New, chaps. 6, 8-9, 
and 10— II.) 

*St. George Jackson Mivart (1827-1900), a zoologist interested in evolution, 
who, in opposition to Darwin, maintained that evolution proceeded according to 
teleological principles. Lessons from Nature as Manifested in Mind and Matter 
{i%j6) is a collection of his essays. Butler discusses Mivart's position in Life and 
Habit, chap. 14. 

° Philip Worsley had moved from Taviton Street to 26 Chester Terrace. 


26, "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 
[Written on black-bordered paper] 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Feb. II, 1879 
Dear May, 

Thank you for your last — of course if my father does not 
want to go abroad I have not another word to say, except that 
I am rather sorry to hear it, though I shd be even more sorry if 
his going were to lead to your doing so when you think you 
ought not. 

Well — at last spring seems to have set in and I never was 
more glad to welcome it — I see a few snowdrops being sold 
about the streets for the first time today, and on Sunday saw 
a few nearly out in a cottage garden, but I also saw some great 
drifts of snow still unmelted on the lee side of hedges some of 
them still three or four feet deep. 

Very sorry to hear of May's ^ eyes — but we most of us had 
bad eyes about her age — mine I remember were very bad for 
a couple of years or more than that but I got over it. I found 
nothing so good for them as bathing them with very weak 
brandy and water. 

The thaw gave me a heavy cold but I am shaking it off. On 
the whole I have had less cold than usual this winter in spite 
of its severity and am not much amiss. 

What a horrible disaster at the Cape.^ I see a son of my old 
friend Mr. Anstey ^ (whom I have not seen for years) is among 
the missing or killed. It is the greatest misfortune we have had 
since the Indian Mutiny and will I fear do us a great deal of 
indirect mischief — still one is thankful that it is not in Af- 
ghanistan where those odious liberals wd have been able to 

Letter 26: 

^ "Maysie," one of Tom and Etta's daughters, twelve years old at this time. 

^ News of a Zulu massacre of Lord Chelmsford's camp at Isandhlwana, Zulu- 
land, reached London on February 11, 1879. 

'Edgar Oliphant Anstey, 24th Regiment, 2nd Warwickshire, was killed in 
the massacre. 


make more capital out of it.^ I wish there were no black peo- 
ple: I feel towards them much as Montesquieu did who wrote 
"these people are all over black, and have such flat noses that 
they are scarcely to be pitied" ^ — A very shocking sentiment, 
but I have more sympathy with it than I quite approve of my- 
self for having. 

The Museum is open again,^ and I have been there all day; 
my new book is nearly done,^ and I believe is a very good one, 
but the Darwins will be very angry with it as I stand up for 
Dr. Erasmus Darwin's view of evolution as more right than 
that of his grandson — but the book which I have been much 
delighted with is Paley's Natural Theology ^ — which I have 
used largely and wd have used much more if space permitted. 
If you do not know it you shd read it at once. In Life and 
Habit I supported the "purposive" view of organisms, that is 
to say insisted on the evidence for design which they exhibited, 
but have done so much more strongly in this present book.^ 
With all best wishes to you both I am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

* British troops marched into Afghanistan in the autumn of 1878 to strengthen 
Disraeli's program for greater British influence in Central Asia. Never whole- 
heartedly supported even by Disraeli's own Cabinet, this action was loudly de- 
nounced by the Liberals, who made it an issue in the spring, 1880, elections in 
which they were returned to power. 

^ Montesquieu is mocking the attitude he expresses ("De I'esprit des lois," 
Book XV, chap. 5 ) , though he was often taken seriously. In an entry in his 
Notebooks in September, 1883, Butler shows that at least at that time he was 
aware of Montesquieu's irony (MS Notebooks, I, 214). 

^ The British Museum had been closed for alterations. At about this time Butler 
began to work at the Museum regularly, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 
from ten to one (Butler-Savage Letters, p. ijo). 

^Evolution, Old and 'New, which appeared May i, 1879. 

^ In chaps. 2 and 5 Butler quotes extensively from William Paley's Natural 
Theology (1802). Of Paley (1743— 1805), he says: "I know few writers whom I 
would willingly quote more largely, or from whom I find it harder to leave off 
quoting when I have once begun" (pp. 13—14). 

® The "purposive view of organisms" is put forth implicitly in Life and Habit, 
but on p. I of Evolution, Old and New Butler proposes the question directly: 
"Can we not see signs in the structure of animals and plants, of something which 
carries with it the idea of contrivance so strongly that it is impossible for us to 
think of the structure, without at the same time thinking of contrivance, or design, 
in connection with it?" 


2/. "Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. Extracts Published: Memoir, I, 294-295. 

Frid. Mar. 14, 1879 
15. Clifford's Inn 
Dear May 

Thank you for your*s of Mar. i , which I wd have answered 
sooner if I were not in the very thick of putting my new book 
through the press. It will be out in about three weeks or even 
less, now, I hope, and should do me good. I am less fagged with 
it too than I generally am when I come to the end of a book — 
though this is nearly 400 pp. so near as I can measure it. In 
fact I am very well in spite of the last two or three days bitter 
East Wind. 

I went the other night to see the British Museum lit with 
the electric light ^ — the superintendent of the reading room 
having offered me a ticket; it looked very well; and I also 
went last night to the Albert Hall to hear the Dettigen Te 
Deum ^ — (which is magnificent — ) and there found more 
electric light, but not so good as at the British Museum. The 
chorus "To thee Cherubin and Seraphin continually do cry" 
was wonderful. I have counted the "continually's" and find 
the word repeated exactly 50 times. If you will (try and) say 
the word "continually" ten times on each of your five fingers 
you will find it give[s] you an idea of the fine effect pro- 
duced.^ I heard it some years ago, and for some reason or other 

Letter 27: 

^ Several trials of electric light in the Reading Room were held throughout the 
month of February, 1879. They were deemed successful, and permanent electric 
lighting was installed. 

^ Handel's Dettigen Te Deum was given on March 1 3 in honor of the marriage 
of the Duke of Connaught to Princess Louise of Prussia. 

^ Butler was so fond of this efFect that he made use of it in Narcissus, a comic 
cantata which he and Jones wrote. In the lyric. 

How blest the prudent man, the maiden pure, 

"Whose income is both ample and secure, 

Arising from consolidated Three 

Per Cent Annuities, paid quarterly, 
Jones says that they "remembered Handel's treatment of 'continually,' and thought 
we could not do better than imitate it for our words 'paid quarterly' " (Memoir, 
I, 295). 


liked it less than most of Handel's works, but last night quite 
changed me. Did I tell you that some time ago I went to 
Elijah,^ determined to like it, and with another man ^ too — 
we having both resolved to keep our minds open, and to look 
out for the good & not the bad. Well — of course we saw some 
good, but on the whole we hated it. I never mean to go and 
hear it again if I can help doing so. I don't know anything 
about Sydney Dobell ^ — but will look him up on your recom- 
mendation. As a general rule I distrust ^'energetic joyous 
temperaments," and as you know I am no lover of poetry, 
however, I will have a look at him. 

I hope my father is well, with all best wishes to him and to 
yourself. Believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

28. Q!May to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 


July 31. 1879 
My dearest Sam 

I have got this far on my travels you see, & go on to the 
Garrisons tomorrow. I enjoyed my visit at Fulham ^ very 
much, and managed to see both the Academy and the 
Grosvenor. There were not a great Tnany pictures which I 
cared for in either, but some very much, & as a whole I liked 
it better than the last time I saw the Academy about 3 years 
ago. I liked *Evangeline' — & *Esther',^ & one — only one — of 
Leighton's *Amarilla' ^ — the colouring was so soft and rich, 

* Mendelssohn's Elijah reminded Butler of Handel's Jephtba, but he disliked 
everything in the piece that did not remind him of Handel (MS Notebooks, II, $6). 
^ The other man was Jones {Memoir, I, 294). 
° Sydney Dobell (1824— 1874), a member of the Spasmodic School of poets. 

Letter 28: 

^ A suburb of London. 

^A painting by Edwin Long (i 829-1 891) favorably received by the reviewers 
of the Royal Academy Exhibition. 

^ There were seven other paintings by Frederick Leighton on display at the 


& Millais' Gladstone — and — don't be horrified — Burne Jones's 
Annunciation ^ — at least the Virgin's figure — I did not care 
about the Angel — 

Also, today I have been seeing the Museum of Art here, and 
was surprised to find that I really did like Frank Miles's 
^Salmon Leap' ^ — It is such a daring picture — but surely it is 
clever, though I dislike him so much that one doesn't want to 
think so! 

It has been a pouring wet morning, and it is only now that 
the distance is clear enough for one to look over the old coun- 
try ^ from this high ground, & think how very pretty it is 
after all!— '^ 

29. "Butler to <iMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Grisons, Suisse 
Thursd. Augt. 21. 1879 
Dear May — 

Thank you for yours of the 14th from Whatton,^ Harrie 
will have already sent you my congratulations but pray ac- 
cept them again. I suppose you and my father will by this 
time be back at Wilderhope and I dare say you will neither 
of you be sorry; I do not intend returning before the 21st. 
having deferred it a fortnight or three weeks. I stay here till 
the 3d. or 4th. prox. and am then Joined by my friend Jones, 

* In the Grosvenor Gallery Exhibition. 

^ Frank (George Francis) Miles (1852— 189 1) was the son of the rector of 
Bingham, Nottinghamshire. Canon Butler had been Rural Dean of Bingham. Some 
of Miles's paintings were part of the permanent collection of the Castle Museum 
and Art Gallery, Nottingham. 

° May and her father had left Nottinghamshire after his retirement from Langar 
in 1876 and were at this time living in Wilderhope House, Shrewsbury. 

'' The rest of this letter has not been preserved. 

Letter 29: 

^ May had been staying with the Thomas Dickinson Halls. (See note 3 for 
Letter 4.) 


and also by a bride groom and bride ^ of all people (and) in 
the world; the husband wrote to me on the eve of his mar- 
riage begging to be let to come and I was nothing loth as I 
have known both husband & wife since they were boys & 
girls, a matter of ten years now, intimately, having worked 
long with them at Heatherley's. The husband is one of our 
most promising young painters and has a very good picture 
on the line.^ I shall be very glad to show him my work here, 
and shall, I doubt not, profit by his coming. I like this place 
better and better. In the church I have found some very fine 
old frescoes of the 15 th Century — the upper subjects sacred, 
the lower secular, & with no religious motive except their 
beauty.^ I have made a drawing of one, and must do some 
others. The one I have taken is a young man crowned with 
white roses, going out hawking with his hawk on his fore 
finger and his dog following beside the horse. On a pil[l]ion 
behind him sits his bride and behind both rides an esquire who 
holds a flower in his hand,^ all done with the most delightful 
freshness and naivete. I hear there are more frescoes by the 
same man a little lower down the valley & must go and see 
them. The priest and the monk here are both very good to me: 
the first is a good fellow, the second a wretch judging by his 
appearance, but he is exceedingly civil. 

Glad to hear good accounts of Anne.^ I must call on Mrs. 
Wade on my return; or rather call to enquire how she is. No 
more reviews since the Athenaeum,'^ but an allusion in the Pall 
Mall Gazette to ^'unconscious humour" in inverted commas *as 

^ Jones identifies the bridegroom (Memoir, I, 307) as Henry Marriott Paget 
(1856-1936). His bride was the daughter of Dr. William Farr. 

^Paget's picture at the Royal Academy exhibition o£ 1879 was "Enid and 

* Butler describes this church, St. Cristoforo, at great length in Alps and 
Sanchiaries (pp. 183-195). 

^ Butler's description here telescopes two frescoes into one: April (the "esquire 
who holds a flower in his hand") and May (the young man going hawking with his 
bride behind). In Alps and Sanctuaries, however, he treats them as two of 
twelve separate scenes representing the months of the year, 

^ Anne Wade, nurse to the Butler family at Wilderhope. 

^ The reviewer in the Athenaeum (July 26, 1879, pp. 115— 117) praised Evolu- 
tion, Old and New, though he regretted the dull earnestness of the bcok in con- 
trast to the lively humor of Erewhon. 


tho' every one wd know where the words were taken from: 
such things show that the book is being read and talked about. 
I shall have a small one out at the beginning of the winter ^ 
and then no more for twelvemonths. I am painting a lovely 
charnel house. Also you know the aesthetic school have run 
sunflowers lately: ^ for the last few years they have been all the 
rage, and I have been trying to think of something to cut them 
out. In the monk's garden I have found I think a combination 
that will do. It consists of chickory, French marigolds and 
seed onions. I am persuaded that as fine a melancholy may be 
seen among these as any other vegetables (and) in the world; 
no one hitherto has felt the poetry of seed onions. 

With all best wishes to you both I am Yr. affte. brother 

S— Butler— 

3 o. <tMay to "Sutler 

Text: British Museum MS. 


March. 12. 1880. 
Dearest Sam 

We have just heard from the Whitehall ^ of Aunt Lloyd's 
death. She had another stroke in the night & passed away in her 
sleep. The day before yesterday we met her at Preston Mont- 
ford,^ quite bright. She had driven over in an open carriage. 

^ Butler had begun to think about Unconscious Memory at this time, but he 
found it necessary to read extensively in evolutionary theory and was not able to 
publish it until the beginning of the following winter, November, 1880. 

° The sunflowers that William Morris painted in the Oxford Debating Room in 
1857 became a symbol of the Aesthetes. Oscar Wilde, lecturing in New York on 
January 9, 1882, said: "Let me tell you that the reason we love the lily and the 
sunflower, in spite of what Mr. Gilbert [in Patience] may tell you, is not for any 
vegetable fashion at all. It is because these two lovely flowers are in England the 
two most perfect models of design . . . , the gaudy leonine beauty of the one 
and the precious loveliness of the other." 

Letter 50: 

^ A sixteenth-century Tudor mansion, the home of "Aunt Lloyd," Harriet 
Lloyd, near Shrewsbury. Under the terms of his grandfather's will it was 
eventually to revert to Butler. 

^ The home of Harriet Lloyd's son in Bicton, Shropshire. Her grandson was 
vicar of Holy Trinity Church there. 


The shock is a sudden one to Papa, but he is well and bright, & 
takes it very quietly and simply — they will all feel a terrible 
blow at the Whitehall 

Your very affectionate sister 


3 1. "Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 
\Written on black-bordered paper ^] 

1 5. Clifford's Inn E.G. 
May 3, 1880 — 
Dear May 

Thank you for your last from which I was glad to hear 
good accounts of you both & that my father had enjoyed his 
trip in Wales; I am afraid he must have found it cold, for I 
have been hindered from doing any outdoor work these three 
weeks by the East Winds. I hope however that the weather is 
now going to take up. I am rather overdone, & pumping for 
breath more than I like — a sure sign that I am fatigued, but 
the Museum is closed this week & [I] shall take advantage of 
it to do as little as I can. I hear very bad accounts of the 
Academy & am pained at finding many of my friends turned 
out — men to whom the being rejected is a matter of serious 
importance — I am told nearly 8000 pictures were sent in & 
not more than 1000 hung, excluding of course sculpture. It 
is really very sad — 

I have finished my translation of Von Hartmann on In- 
stinct.^ It is odious, but I am very glad to have done it & can 
now read German tolerably easily.^ You mention cuckoos in 

Letter 31; 

^ Because of the death of Harriet Lloyd. 

^This translation constitutes chaps. 7-9 of Unconscious Memory. 

^ In 1 874 Butler read Wilhelm Meister in translation, disliked it, and told Miss 
Savage that he was glad he had never taken the trouble to learn German (Butler- 
Savage Letters, p. 98). Early in 1880, however, Butler taught himself German in 
order to attack Darwin's use of German sources. 


your letter: in the course of what I am doing I have had oc- 
casion to investigate a fact about about [sic] them, & was in- 
troduced by Mr. Garnett ^ to the gentleman who attends to 
birds in the British Museum and who I understand is the 
best authority we have on ornithological subjects.^ He as- 
sures me that he entertins no doubt that the cuckoo actually 
does imitate the eggs of the birds in whose nest she lays, & that 
so closely, that they are indistinguishable from the genuine 
eggs except by being a trifle larger, tho' much smaller than the 
cuckoo ought to lay according to her size. Is not this forgery 
with a vengeance? And yet there is no bird of whom we are 
fonder. His father's gardener told him there was a cuckoo's 
egg in a certain water wagtail's nest. He examined the eggs 
carefully, and refused to believe the fact — but sure enough a 
few days later a cuckoo was hatched, & a similar case was re- 
ported to him in respect of a hedge sparrow whose eggs differ 
widely from the water wagtail's. I also find that the cuckoo 
invariably lays her eggs on the ground, & carries them to the 
nest she has chosen. 

I will write to Miss Brooke, & am sorry I have not done so 
sooner — glad to hear that Mr. Bradshaw ^ has got rid of How ^ 
without loss of income. I think before so many years are over 
we shall have things cheaper now that the importation of meat 
from Australia has proved a success ^ — unless Mr. Gladstone 
gets us into some horrid mess, as, I for my part think only too 
likely. I feel as though nothing short of some serious national 
disaster could awaken the minds of most people to the dan- 
gers we run at the hands of the so called liberal party. The 
only two of the ministers whom I have ever met are Mr. 

* Richard Garnett (1835— 1906), at this time Assistant Keeper of Books and 
Superintendent of the Reading Room. 

^Richard Bowdler Sharpe (1847— 1900), curator of the Museum's bird collection. 
Butler refers to his observations in Unconscious Memory (pp. 50-54, 188, 214—215). 
Sharpe later made the same points himself in A Hand-Book to the Birds of Great 
Britain (1896— 1897), II, 25-30. 

"John Bradshaw (18 12-1880), vicar of Granby, Bottesford, Nottinghamshire, 
a great favorite of the Butler children (MS Notebooks, V, 48). 

^ Thomas Maynard How, a solicitor in Shrewsbury. 

® The first mechanically refrigerated cargo of meat from Australia arrived in 
London on February 3, 1880. 


Chamberlain ^ & Mr. Mundella: ^^ the first I Hked, but shd 
not have Hked if I had known who he was, the second, whom 
I have met more than once, I did not Hke at all, and shd have 
no confidence in his judgement. I am afraid it will not be long 
before we have cause to regret what has been done at these 
elections.^^ As for the doctrinaires & men of science now most 
prominent,^^ the more profoundly do I distrust them, with 
very few exceptions — finding them wherever I am able to test 
them to the full as given to jobbery & disregard of their own 
first principles as ever were the Roman priesthood in less 
tolerant times, and with much less excuse. 

I am sorry to hear of John Bather's son's ^^ having broken 
a blood vessel — I have never seen him — is he the eldest son? 
He may do worse than emigrate still, if he goes to a warm 
climate. Sorry also to hear of Dr. Burd's ^^ accident. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S— Butler— 

^2, Sutler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 
[Written on black-bordered paper] 

1 5. Clifford's Inn E.G. 

June 10, 1880. 
Dear May — 

Thank you for sending me Elsie's photograph — it is a 
nice good face, and I am glad to have seen it. If you have any 

For Butler's account of his meeting with Joseph Chamberlain, at this time presi- 
dent of the Board of Trade, see Letter 22, 

^"Anthony Mundella (182 5-1 897), Privy Councillor. 

^^ Gladstone was returned to power in the spring of 1880 after six years of 
Tory rule. 

^^ Butler means Darwin, Huxley, Tyndall, Grant Allen, Ray Lankester "et hoc 
genus omne; [they] would soon repeat all the trickery of the Roman Catholic 
pseudo-miracles. They would cook their experiments just as the priests made their 
Madonnas wink" (MS Notebook, II, 13; November, 1883). 

John Bather (18 19-1886), nephew of Butler's paternal aunt Mary (see note 
4 for Letter 8). He had five sons, all living at this time. 

"Henry Edward Burd (1826-19 17), the Butler family's physician in Shrews- 


photos of the boys please send them & I will return them. How 
old is Hal now & what is he doing? I shall write to Harrie & 
get her to give me a full account of the young people. 

I was laughing when I said George Eliot had paid me a com- 
pliment in Theophrastus Such. The compliment consisted in 
a certain chapter on machines which she introduced into that 
book, & which so closely resembled a certain other chapter on 
machines ^ that I had the satisfaction of feeling that great 
minds had thought alike — that was all; but the resemblance 
is so close that there can be no doubt where she drew from. It 
is quite legitimate, still it is a compliment. You ask me do I 
ever still think of writing a life of Handel — of course I do, & 
continually accumulate notes but I do not see my way to it at 
present; I never meant that I was going to cram up for a life of 
Handel, & I have a lot on hand. 

I am very tired. I went yesterday somewhat unwillingly, 
but I think it was as well on the whole — to the Shrewsbury 
dinner,^ & every one said how well & strong I looked in com- 
parison with what I used to do. So I am in a way, but I am 
fagged for all that, & my present book is present with me con- 
tinually & I cannot shake it off. It is very nearly done, and I 
am always like this at the end of a book. I saw Carlyle said 
some years ago that he never wrote one of his books without 
being made seriously ill by it.^ I cannot say as much as this, 
but a book does take it out of one for all that. Professor 
Hering of Prague has my translation of his lecture.* He asked 
me to send it him that he might look it over, & I have this 

Letter 52; 

^ There is some similarity between chap. 17, "Shadows of the Coming Race," in 
George Eliot's Impressions of Theophrastus Such (1879) ^^^ chap. 24, "The 
Book of the Machines — continued" in Erewhon (1872). Miss Savage may have 
called the resemblance to Butler's attention. On September 24, 1879, she wrote: 
"The only bit in the least bit readable [in Theophrastus Such"] is a crib from 
Erewhon — a most bare-faced crib" {Butler-Savage Letters, p. 210). 

^ The first of an intended annual series of Old Salopian dinners, held in London 
on June 9, 1880. 

'"Inaugural Address at Edinburgh, 21 April 1866, on Being Installed Rector 

* "Uber das Gedachtnis als eine allgemeine Funktion der organisierten Materie" 
(1870), by Karl Ewald Konstantin Hering (1834-1918). The lecture was brought 
to Butler's attention by an article by Edwin Ray Lankester (i 847-1929) in 
Nature, 14 (July 13, 1876), 235-237, which found Hering's lecture an ad- 


morning received from him without a letter, so that I do not 
know yet what he says to my translation, a copy of another 
of his lectures which seems exceedingly interesting. I can make 
out a thing in German now roughly even without a dic- 
tionary, but I must translate a good bit yet before I can get 
that facility in reading which is necessary before It can be of 
the use to me which I hope it will be. Still less than six months 
ago I could not read a word of it. 

The weather is awful, & I get no sketching done — this in- 
creases my fatigue for by taking one or even two days sketch- 
ing [A page or more is missing at this point.'] it over with him. 
Please thank my father for his letter which I was very glad to 

Yr. affte. brother 
S— Butler— 

3 3 . "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 
[Written on black-bordered paper'\ 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C. 
June 29, 1880 — 
Dear May 

I am very sorry I said nothing about the Botticelli picture. 
I feel sure that there is no photograph of it unless a small one, 
and I know there is no engraving of it — for I looked at the 
British Museum Print Room & could find nothing but an 
unsatisfactory reproduction of a part of it, done some years 
ago, before the picture was appreciated. I have it on my 
agenda to make enquiry tomorrow & will inform you if there 
is one, but unless you hear please conclude that I am right — 
I feel sure I shd have known of it if there was one — I will 
see that you have it if there is one. 

mirable attempt to substitute something better for Darwin's provisional hypothesis 
of pangenesis. Butler translated it (chap, 6 of Unconscious Memory) to support 
his own theory of memory, though in chap. 10 he objected that Hering extended 
his theory into areas in which it is not applicable. 


I start early Thursday morning, having sent my last sheets 
to the press & absolutely completed my book. I don't think I 
could write another page without being knocked up with it. 
It is called "Unconscious Memory," and will I believe form a 
good third to my two last. 

After a few days rest I am to begin at another ^ to be 
finished if possible by October, but my friend Jones is to do 
part of it as time presses, & I am to illustrate it with 50 
illustrations some full page, some half & some small. I shall 
have my hands full, but it is a commission,^ & if it succeeds 
will lead to more, & not a little more either. It is to be about 
the Italian villages I go to on the slopes of the Alps & I have hit 
on a title which I think will do, to wit "Verdi Prati." ^ <&> 
It will contain not one word of philosophy ^ — nothing but 
pure gossip & illustrations. Having failed so often at exhibi- 
tions I am glad of an opportunity of getting some black & 
white work before the public & seeing what the verdict is."^ 

The heat here is intense today, & the weather looks much 
more settled. I cannot give you an Italian address yet, but be- 
lieve it will be Sant' Ambrogio, Poste Restante — but I don't 
know the post town & provin[c]e. Sant' Ambrogio is mid 
way between Susa & Turin, under Monte Pirchiriano — and I 
expect great things of it.^ 

Letter ^y. 

^ Alps and Sanctuaries, published in November, 1881. 

^ David Bogue, who published Evolution, Old and New and Unconscious Mem- 
ory at Butler's expense, offered him £100 for a book on travel in Italy; but when 
the manuscript was done Bogue declined to take it, probably because his pub- 
lishing house was about to go bankrupt (Boase, IV, 446). 

^ Butler changed his mind about this title from Handel's opera Alcina, but he 
always accociated it with northern Italy. Seven years later he wrote: "We might 
almost fancy that Handel had it [the country around Varallo] in his mind when 
he wrote his divine air 'Verdi Prati.' Certainly no country can be better fitted 
either to the words or music" (Ex Voto, p. 27). 

* Butler was hardly able to refrain from including "philosophy." See, for ex- 
ample, pp. 26-27, 42—46, 47-54, and 86—92, of Alps and Sanctuaries. 

^ The illustrations were well received; the reviewer for the Athenaeum, for 
example, complains only that the process by which they were reproduced was 
poor. He also approves the text, though questioning the worth of a curiously 
large number of gratuitous references to Handel. 

* See Butler's account of the Romanesque abbey above Sant' Ambrogio in 
chaps. 7-8 of Alps and Sanctuaries. 


I was very sorry to hear poor accounts of the Bathers, & 
hope their outing will set them up. I hope also that my father's 
cough is better for his trip and that he is well. If you have 
occasion to write before you hear — address Poste Restante, 
Turin, or if you can manage to get a line to reach me 
tomorrow night I shd be glad of it, but shall go before post 
time on Thursday. With my best wishes to you all three I am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

34. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Sant' Ambrogio (di Susa) 
Piemonte, Italy. 
Frid. July 16. 1880 — 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's of the 7th. I am not at Sant' Am- 
brogio, but at San Pietro 1,300 or 1400 feet above it; a lovely 
place upon little table land of meadows & chestnuts some 300 
or 400 ft. below the Santuario. The Santuario is stupendous — 
& I am getting many sketches from it. I shall have however 
to leave some for another year, or by [sic] my book would 
be about nothing but this place. 

The sketch I send (you) my father was much reduced — 
the original was 7 in. x 5 in. & what I am doing now are for 
the most part 10x6% inches — or 7x5. 

My landlady at Sant' Ambrogio was something like Anne ^ 
— though more in disposition than actually in personal ap- 
pearance, though there was something even of this: I 
thought her one of the most fascinating people in the world. 
It was very primitive — not a jug nor a bit of carpet nor a 
washing jug on the establishment, and the most maddening 
fleas conceivable. Here the inn though also primitive is more 

Letter 34; 

^Anne Wade. 


advanced the other: ^ they have less flea & more washing jug: 
they are very nice people here too, but the landlady down be- 
low is enough to spoil one for any one else. 

I stop here 4 or 5 days longer, & then go to Vice of which 
I expect great things. I do not think it is [in] Murray or 
Badeker, but was told of it by a priest with whom I travelled 
— a most delightful person who was very kind & took a great 
interest in England. When he found I did not like Gladstone 
he said Bravo! Bravo! & was quite satisfied. He seemed quite 
to understand the late elections & to attribute the result to a 
general malaise in consequence of bad times.^ 

The post office people at Sant' Ambrogio are to be trusted 
so please address there till further notice. 

With all best wishes to you both I am 

Yr. aflFte. brother 
S— Butler— 

3 J. "Butler to <iMay 

Text'. Chapin Library MS. 

1 5. Clifford's Inn E.G. 
Nov. 22 1880. 
Dear May, 

I was extremely sorry to hear of Mr. Bradshaw's ^ death 
& write a few lines to Mrs. Bradshaw by this post. I shall al- 
ways think of him as one of the best men that I have ever 
known, & regret greatly to think that I shall not again see 
him. I shall be glad to hear any further particulars that may 
reach you. 

° Butler is apparently mimicking the landlady's English, as he does that of his 
guide in A/^s and Sanctuaries (p. 263). 

' Butler was of course displeased by Disraeli's defeat, which came about in part 
because of a serious failure of the 1879 harvest and heavy military expenditures 
in Africa. In Al^s and Sanctuaries (pp. 88—89) he notes that this priest was well 
read on English politics, and sound (i.e., conservative) on all issues except the 
Irish question. Butler explained that question to him "as well as I could, and 
found him very willing to listen to our side." 

Letter }^: 

^ John Bradshaw. (See note 6 for Letter 31.) 


I am very well, but cannot quite shake off a cold & my 
eyes are rather troublesome — weak — but nothing much amiss. 
The weather here is bitter, & it looks uncommonly like a third 
hard winter — I hope it may not turn out so, but we have had 
one good thing so far — no fog, and only Londoners can ap- 
preciate this. 

I have had an extremely kind letter from the Bishop of 
Carlisle,^ about my book. I showed it my publisher — he said 
"that is very strong." I sent him a copy of the book because 
I had quoted & referred to his article in the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury ^ but of course did not write to him. Other news of it as 
yet I have heard none, but there was a flaming leader in the 
Times yesterday about Mr. Darwin ; ^ very disgraceful con- 
sidering what he has done, but the Times always is disgraceful. 
However, we shall see what the next three months brings 
forth. I hear his line concerning me is "I can't think why Mr. 
Butler attacks me in this way. I'm sure I must have done some- 
thing very dreadful, and if I only knew what it was &c." 
This from one to whom it was said, & whom Mr. Darwin 
knows to be an intimate friend of mine.^ He knows as well 
as I do. I don't know whether he has yet seen my new book; 
it was not out when this was said. 

I see the Town Hall was burnt down,^ fancy the town 

^Harvey Goodwin (1818— 1891). Butler's reply to this letter commending 
Unconscious Memory is printed in Memoir, I, 344-345. On the bishop's death 
Butler wrote: "I cannot say that I respected him or admired him as more than 
a man who knew very well how to play his cards," (MS Notebooks, IV, 131). 

^ "The Philosophy of Crayfishes," Nineteenth Centtiry, 8 (October, 1880), 
622-637. In Unconscious Memory (pp. 198-199) Butler quotes and enthu- 
siastically agrees with the position that Goodwin takes against the foolish ob- 
scurity of scientific language. 

* The third leader on November 20, 1880, is extravagant in its praise of 
Darwin's book on the similarities between plants and animals. The Movements of 
Plants. Darwin's work is compared to Newton's; the book is said "to mark an jera 
in biological science." 

^Butler's Notebook identifies his informant as Miss Arabella Buckley (1840- 
1929), formerly secretary to Charles Lyell, at this time a lecturer in natural 
science. "She had been," Butler writes, "to dine and sleep at Down [Darwin's 
home] (Oct. 1880) and I saw her in the Museum afterwards" (I, 79). 

® The top floor of the Shrewsbury town hall was destroyed by fire on Novem- 
ber 19, 1880. The Shrewsbury fire brigade had to call for engines from neighboring 


having no fire engine: so the papers say at least, but it must 
surely be a mistake. 

I have finshed my account of Oropa ^ for my Italian book, 
& shall now do (Oropa) Sammichele.^ I still grind away at 
German; it will be no good to me till I can read it fluently: 
this I cannot yet do, but it is coming, & then I think I need 
learn no more languages: a good job. 

Do you mean that Jack Lloyd is going to Kansas? ^ I dare 
say he is quite right, but it will be a rough place; still if he 
doesn't mind that & if he has a good sound head on his 
shoulders I shd think he was right. Very glad to hear of my 
father's being able to walk so far — but don't let him over do 
it — only that there is no stopping him. I have had a proposal 
made to me from Kegan Paul the publisher to edit Hudibras & 
write a short life and introduction to the poem — say 20 pp. 
for £5. The proposal entirely from him. I declined it, after 
consultation. I could not do the thing properly in a month, 
and had better do my Italian book instead. Besides, it looks as 
if I wanted to connect myself with my namesake,^^ & though 
unwilling to turn money away, we concluded on the whole 
that it would be a mistake for me to do it. 

Yr. affte. brother 

3 6, <tMay to "Sutler 

Text: British Museum MS. 


Feb. 27. 1881. 
My dearest Sam 

Thank you very much for your kind little letter, and you 
will like to hear that both of us are fairly well, though I think 

'See chaps. 14-15 of Alps and Sanctuaries. 

^See chaps. 7-8. 

^Alumni Cantabrigienses indicates that John Bucknall Lloyd (18 53-1932), son 
of Butler's cousin, Thomas Bucknall Lloyd, spent some time in Kansas. 

^"The earlier Samuel Butler (161 2-1680), author of Hudibras, was not related 
to Butler. 


both of us feel the strain that is upon us. Papa went to 
Harnage ^ one day last week, & walked 6 miles so you see his 
foot is right again. 

The matter of the guardianship ^ was to have been settled 
last Wednesday, I believe — but there has been no letter as yet 
from Mr. Jeffes ^ who has been very good and kind in keeping 
Papa informed — In any case it is all in good train. The ad- 
vocate to whom that woman first applied has thrown up her 
cause in disgust, and she has now put her affairs into the hands 
of another lawyer, & one probably less scrupulous, but Mr. 
Jeffes seems to have no anxiety whatever as to the result of any 
proceedings she may take. Meantime she is keeping us here 
in a state of suspense by intending to come over to England, & 
have an interview here. I suppose she thinks she can extort 
money from my father, either by threats of exposure here, 
or by some disclosure true or false which she will profess to 
have held back. She wrote a week ago to the chief constable 
here — asking whether Papa was now residing here, but he 
brought the letter straight here, & she got no reply. Since then 
we hear from Etta that she is known to have expressed an in- 
tention of coming, & a persuasion that by so doing she could 
obtain her end — and this morning brought a letter from the 
post master here, enclosing one from her saying to bim, that 
"serious family difficulties would oblige her to come here, & 
as she knew no one in England to apply to, and was not sure 
whether the Rev. T. B. was still residing here — could he be 
kind enough to give her his address." Papa will consult Mr. 
How, & probably get him to write to her, & say that the 
police know something of her, (& that) — and that any com- 
munication must be made to Mr. How. — 

At Brussels things seem going outwardly smoothly, & Etta 

Letter }6: 

^ Property owned by Canon Butler, a few miles southeast of Shrewsbury. 

^ In the autumn of 1880 Butler's brother Tom was discovered to have been 
living with a prostitute in Brussels. His father (with Butler's approval) took 
steps to see that Etta, Tom's wife, and her four children would receive the in- 
come from Tom's inheritance. (Correspondence in the British Museum.) 

^ Thomas Edward Jeflfes, British vice-counsul at Brussels. 


& the children are very brave, but I am afraid there is not 
much to hope for else. 

Be sure that I will let you know if anything important 
comes, but it is slow lingering work. 

We were very much amused & interested in your account of 
the Puicernas. It was a much prettier name. Do you remember 
at all when they became Butlers — it would be curious to try & 
trace some reason for the change, whether it was with any 
view to disguise or concealment or a quarrel with the original 

In turning out all his boxes Papa came upon all the clues he 
has to our family history. They are very imperfect, but I have 
been working at them, & have brought them into something 
like order, & making them out into a clear genealogical shape 
as far as can be done. Papa got me two big bits of paper to do 
them on, as he said he thought you would like a copy of it all. 

It is snowing at intervals today, but there are crocuses out. 
I hope you will keep better, & am glad you have got through 
your row. I hate rows. With very best love I am ever 

Your affectionate sister 

Henry Bather * was here yesterday he showed us an amusing 
little note he had from some tenant or some such thing — 
apologising I think for being a little behind to the collector 
Mr. Sotherne. It was pretty well written & spelt till he came 
to the P.S. when his feelings evidently overcame him, & he 
ended thus "as youshel Sotherne's tong — " That was all 
the P.S. 

* Henry Bather, land agent for Butler's father. 


-^y, 'Sutler to <LMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

[15 Clifford's Inn] 
April 22. 1 88 1. 
My dear May — 

Did you also see that Carlyle died ^ worth £35,000 all made 
from his books after years & years of waiting? And Herbert 
Spencer has just given evidence that after 15 years he was 
£1200 out of pocket by his books, but has now recouped him- 
self & is making a moderate profit? ^ 

I dislike both these men heartily — and am glad to see the 
counter blast is full blow against the former — but their careers 
tend to show that after a time persistent writing does force its 
way. I never was so much abused before as now. Bogue says he 
never had a book yet which has been so much abused as my 
last.^ I cannot but think that there will be a turn in the tide 
ere long — for not one reviewer has called me to task for a 
misstatement, or even argued with me seriously. I called on 
the editor of the St. James' Gazette the other day, and asked 
him why there had been no reply to my rejoinder to one of the 
bitterest & most unscrupulous attacks upon me.* The editor 
said his reviewer had wanted to reply "but I told him he had 
no case, & had better let it alone." This sort of thing must 
tell in time. 

We are here all grieving about Lord Beaconsfield.^ I never 
felt the loss of any public man before as I do his. We have 
nobody comparable to him for a moment. That is the worst 

Letter }j: 

^Carlyle died on February 5, 188 1. 

^ Spencer lost heavily on Descriptive Sociology, a multi-volume study begun 
fourteen years earlier. In a "Notice of Cessation" included with the eighth part in 
188 1 he stated that loses of £3000 on this project alone were forcing him to 
abandon it. 

^ The most unfavorable review of Unconscious Memory was written by George 
John Romanes (1848-1894), a disciple of Darwin's, in Nature, 23 (January 27, 
1881), 285-287. 

*The review appeared on December 2, 1880 (p. 13), and Butler's reply on 
December 8, 1880 (p. 5). 

^Disraeli died on April 19, 1881. 


of these exceptionally great men — there is nobody to take 

their place. 

With all best wishes to you all I am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler. 

38. ^May to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Dec. 10. 1 88 1 
My dearest Sam 

We should like to hear that you were keeping well. I hope 
you did not think us very foolish to be afraid of you, but in- 
dependently of any danger , it is such a horribly tiresome thing 
to get into a house.^ But we should like a line to say that you 
had not caught it. I hope your friend is better by this time. 
— We have not had, & are not at all likely to have any further 
letters, and I think the money will be let alone.^ 

I have not seen any review of your book.^ Tell us if there is 
any good one. 

On Thursday afternoon I went over the factory here with 
Miss Downward. I had no idea it was so large or so important 
— it sends thread and twine to every part of the world, & you 
can't buy any of it in Shrewsbury. It was rather nice to see all 
my factory girls at their work, & gave one a homelike feeling 
with them. 

On Monday night I have to play at a little concert & read- 
ing of Mrs. Bentley's here, for the school and clothing club, — 
& have just come from practising in the big dark school room 
by the light of two little candles — It is so cold but not so 
dark as the papers today describe London! — 

Letter 38; 

^ Jones was ill with what was believed to be scarlet fever (see next letter). 

" May is referring to an attempt by Tom to keep the income from his in- 
heritance from Etta and the children. 

^ Alps and Sanctuaries. Butler received the first copy on November 22 (Memoir, 

1, 362). 


Last Saturday I was at Lichfield on some business with 
Mrs. Madagan and went all about the Cathedral. The front 
will be so beautiful; they are filling in the statues fast. There 
are some very beautiful modern monuments there, beautiful 
enough as far as I can judge to admire in any old sculpture 
gallery, and the last, the memorial to Bishop Selwyn * is the 
most beautiful of all. It was rather a tiring day more especially 
as I did not change at Stafford coming home, & to my horror 
found *Crewe' staring at me from the lamp glasses, just when 
I thought I was getting to Wellington ^ — so I didn't get home 
till 10:30. We have lovely Chrysanthemums, and I have seen 
a little pot of Dutch tulips out today, & the Bishop's study at 
Lichfield was full of little Roman hyacinths. I wonder whether 
you have any yet. 

Harrie will be here about the 20th, I think — 
Goodbye dear Sam. With my love I am your affectionate 


3^. 'Sutler to (tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, I, 364. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Dec. 17. 1881 
Dear May 

I have been hindered from writing all the week & shall 
now, I fear, hardly catch the post. My friend Jones continues 
very ill & we are anxious about him, but he is certainly better 
today. The scarlet fever part of the story was very mild, but 

* As part of a comprehensive plan for the restoration of Lichfield Cathedral, 
memorials were constructed to honor illustrious churchmen. In January, 1881, 
a statue of George Augustus Selwyn (see note 4 for Letter 4) was placed in the 
cathedral. A Melanesian boy clings to his feet. 

^ May had continued on toward Liverpool, and at Crewe was about 25 miles 
farther from Shrewsbury than she would have been if she had traveled the same 
distance to "Wellington. 


it has been followed by rheumatism, & other complications: 
I do hope however that the present improvement will be main- 
tained & not lost as it has been on three or four past occasions. 

My rib is now much better. For a long while it seemed to 
get worse & worse, but the last three days there has been de- 
cided improvement each day. I had a small bottle (a homeo- 
pathic round bottle) of Worcestershire Sauce in my pocket to 
eat with my lunch which I had in my pocket with me. Getting 
over a stile on a wet slippery day & with an umbrella in my 
hand I slipped & fell with all my weight on the top rail but 
so that all the weight bore on the homeopathic bottle: this 
did not break the bottle but it cracked the rib. 

There have only been three notices of my book yet — It is 
still early for them. A very complimentary not to say flatter- 
ing one in "Truth" for Dec. 15. and another equally com- 
plimentary in "The Bookseller." In Punch, (this week's) how- 
ever there are two lines "Alps & Sanct. &c By S. B. rather 
dry: not a bad thing when you've far to go: no umbrella re- 
quired." ^ This and nothing more. I have no doubt it's all 
right but beyond the fact that they mean to say the book is 
dry I don't understand them. I will send the favourable re- 
views if my father wd like to see them. 

Mr. Garnett ^ of the Museum is evidently much pleased 
with the book, & the fathers at S. Michele are delighted with 
it. I sent them a copy, & they are evidently very much 
pleased. One man a barrister complained to me quite seriously 
that the book was written in a very sympathetic spirit towards 
the church of Rome,^ & said he hoped I was not thinking of 
joining: absurd nonsense; I hope however the Romanists in 

Letter 39; 

'^ Truth, December 15, 1881, p. 792; The Bookseller, December 2, 1881, p. 
1207; Punch, December 17, 1881, p. 285. Two other generally favorable reviews 
appeared later: Athenaeum, December 31, 1881, p. 898, and Academy, 21 
(January 21, 1882), 39—40. 

^Richard Garnett. (See note 4 for Letter 31.) Unconscious Memory Is dedi- 
cated to him. 

^ Chap. 9, "The North Italian Priesthood," compares the personal qualities 
of the priests favorably with those of the English clergy, but Butler shows no 
sympathy for the doctrine of the Roman Catholic church. 


England may think what my barrister friend did, for they 
will buy my book if they do — and my own impression was 
that they wd not think (the book) it one that was likely to 
do them much good. With love to my father 

Yr Affte brother 
S. Butler. 

40. ^May to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

March 4. 1882. 
My dear Sam 

It is such a long time since I have written to you — I do not 
like to think of it, but I know you have been hearing of us 
through my father,^ and I have been very full of work ever 
since Christmas. 

Do you know that I am starting a little Childrens' Home 
here? It is a very sad one in some ways, for it is meant espe- 
cially for such children as cannot be received into ordinary 
schools or industrial homes, for fear of the harm they might 
do others — their own knowledge of evil being so sad,^ but 
it is very bright in other ways, for children so soon get happy 
& bright. It is a nice little house toward Sutton, about half 
way between here & Meole, & Martha, our nice housemaid is 
installed as matron, and my first child, an Islington child, 
came a few days ago, & I expect another next week. I hope 
to get about 8 by degrees, & they will scour & wash & cook 
& sew and have a little garden, & by degrees drift off into 
carefree little places. I was in London last week, if I had had 
any time that I could reckon on I should have let you know, 
but I was out from morning till night, literally, seeing various 
^homes' with a view to learning all I could that might be 

Letter 40: 

^ There is a considerable amount of correspondence between Butler and his 
father at this time, most of it very cordial. 

^ May's home was for illegitimate children. 


useful. I spent a good deal of my time in Ratcliffe Highway 
and Stepney! and saw sides of London life which one had 
never seen before out of books — and longed for an inter- 
preter to explain things as I came through the city, & to go 
into the Tower as I passed it. It is a disgrace never to have 
seen the Tower — I was at London House,^ & with Gertrude. 

Our Bishop here set me starting the little home, which is 
supported by subscription through an appeal, partly from him, 
so I have not much difficulty or anxiety, only the superintend- 
ence & management. And Papa is very much interested about 
it, & it has been a pleasure to him I think. 

I did not do a single thing else but business in London — 
except to make acquaintance with a telephone, and to be 
somewhat disappointed with electric light. It is very brilliant 
just on the spot, but its light seems to go such a little way, 
& it is so dark between the lamps. I was delighted to find that 
in all classes & opinions Mr. Gladstone seemed getting into dis- 
grace, but what is Northampton about? * 

I saw Dick Worsley ^ — & hope the accounts of Clifton ® 
are really better, but it is strange they cannot find out the 
cause of four cases of typhoid in a house. 

May & Elsie & Etta with them, have been to a dance. Papa 
sent them lovely flowers, & they seemed to have enjoyed it 
immensely, the girls dancing every dance. 

Papa heard yesterday from Mr. Woodcock that Tom was 
letting the sale of Kenilworth go on,^ so he is still in Brussels. 
Papa is going to post this as he goes up in town, so goodbye. 
My best love — 

Your affectionate sister 

^ The home of the Bishop of London. 

* Gladstone opposed a committee of Lords which was to investigate the opera- 
tion of the Land Act. At the same time Charles Bradlaugh, M.P. from Northamp- 
ton who had been rejected by the Commons on the grounds that as an atheist his 
oath was invalid, was overwhelmingly re-elected. 

^A cousin, son of Philip Worsley. (See Biographical Sketches.) 

^ Clifton, Bristol, home of John and Sarah Worsley, brother and sister of Butler's 

^ Tom had a contingent interest in the Kenilworth property and could have 
prevented its sale. 


41. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, I, 375. 

Aosta [Italy]. Augt. 30. 
Dear May 

I have had no letter since I left England and rather think 
one must have miscarried. I wrote to my father from S. 
Pietro. I came here a fortnight ago and have sketched all 
day, & every day since, the place & neighbourhood are singu- 
larly rich, and the weather has been good. One castle I have 
found about 10 miles off ^ which must wait to be done thor- 
oughly another year, but which I think beats all I have ever 
seen: full of X(I>Vth Century frescoes and the frescoes as 
usual all written over from 15^0 downwards to the present 
day. There are two sets of walls round it, & when I got inside 
and went upstairs to a huge wooden gallery which runs round 
the court I found the only tenant an old woman spinning at 
a spinning wheel. I have accumulated a large stack of notes, 
and I see very well it will end in another Italian book. Jones 
is with me, and we have decided to go to Milan tommorrow. 
Jones is not well, and cannot walk much so I have determined 
to take him to Milan, and thence to Bergamo, [^one or two 
illegible words] Padua, [one or two illegible words] for a 
couple of (days, and) so to Venice. Where please address to the 

Hotel Luna 

I have seen few English people since I left & none of them 

I am very tired and have been so every day, and expect 
I shall be till I get back to England. With all best wishes to 
you all Believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

Letter 41: 

^ Butler collected many notes about the Castle of Fenis, a late fourteenth- or 
early fifteenth-century castle above Aosta, intending to incorporate them in an- 
other book like Alps and Sanctuaries (see Ex Yoto, p. 192), but he never finished 
the book. 


42, Sutler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, I, 383. 

Mar 15. 1883 
1 5. Clifford's Inn E.G. 
Dear May, 

I hope this bitter weather is doing no harm either to your- 
self or to my father; good it can hardly do to any thing 
except the land, and not being a field myself I find it hard 
to look upon the good side of such East Winds as we are 
having. I have chillblains & my hands are chapped — really 
cracked — in some places — true I have been working out of 
doors, but that has made me feel the winds all the worse. 

I have had no events except a call from a man who made 
me one of the most surprising propositions I ever had made 
to me in my life: he was a stranger to me, and called sending 
in his card; he wanted to introduce me to a certain Jew who 
was deeply interested in the return of the Jews to Palestine, 
and who had an idea which I was to work out for him, &c — 
&c. by means of which not the poor Jews only but the Roth- 
schilds & Oppenheims wd be induced to leave England & settle 
in Palestine.^ I will not mention the name of the gentleman('s 
name) who called on me, & I had rather you said nothing about 
it, for you & I & he have friends in common, (on the strength 
of which it was that he called) and it might come round, 
but, as I have said, I think this was the wildest of the many 
wild schemes which have been presented to me at one time & 
another. I was very civil but quite inexorable. This happened 
a couple of days ago. 

I have also heard a good story of a boy who was asked by 
an Examiner "what (were) are the postulates?" He replied 

Letter 42: 

^ The Zionist movement gained force at this time because of anti-Jewish riots in 
Russia. Butler says in his Notebooks (I, 180; Shrewsbury Note-Books, p. 240) 
that on this occasion he was approached because he was a writer of reputation who 
could propagandize the movement. He had brusquely refused such a request ten 
years earlier (MS Notebooks, III, 42). 


"There are three postulates: firstly things that are equal to 
the same are equal to one another: secondly things that are 
greater than the same are greater than one another, & thirdly 
things that are less than the same are less than one another." ^ 
You asked me if I like Rosetti's [sic] pictures: ^ I dislike 
them extremely: in fact they have made me so angry that I 
cannot see any good in them at all, but there was a very beau- 
tiful Titian and a lovely Marco Basaiti in the same exhibition. 
With all best wishes to my father & yourself 

Believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 

S. Butler 

43 . "Butler to <iMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, I, 385. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Mar 29. 1883. 
Dear May 

I returned from my Easter outing on Tuesday evening, 
having been to Guildford and had some very pleasant walks, 
but I find this continued East Wind very trying and am 
watching the weather cock more carefully than I think I ever 
did before: I have been painting out of doors today but after 
an hour & a half found my hands so cold that I could do no 
more. I am sending in four pictures to the Academy, as good 
I think as any I have done, but I am too old now to be san- 
guine about getting them in or to be much disappointed if 
I am turned out, though of course I should like to be in. I 

^Cf. MS Notebooks, I, 179; Further Extracts, p. 97. 

^ A year after his death, the Royal Academy held an exhibition of the paint- 
ings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In the same exhibition were works by the Old 
Masters, including Titian's "Caterina Cornaro" and Marco Basaiti's "St. Jerome in 
the Desert." 


send two London subjects one suburban one and a knight in 
armour with a landscape background, a more ambitious per- 
formance, which requires all the time between now and Mon- 
day to complete.^ 

I have thought of the wedding today and wish the young 
couple all happiness: the sun has been brilliant here all day 
and I doubt not all has gone off as brightly as a wedding 
should do. I suppose you have had the house full, if the Crees 
are not gone please remember me most kindly to Lucy. 

Thank you for telling me about Bishop Tozer's ^ speaking 
warmly of Alps and Sanctuaries. It is not the bishops and 
archbishops I am afraid of; men like Huxley & Tyndal are 
my natural enemies, and I am always glad when I find church 
people recognising that the differences between me & them 
are, as I believe myself, more of words than of things. 

My French review does not come off: I doubt not that it 
will do so for the man who was to do it wrote to me about 
it himself ^ and said it would appear in February in Le Parle- 
ment. I know nothing whatever about him, except that he is a 
well known writer, and both February and March are nearly 
gone; still I expect it will appear sooner or later. 

Jones and I have taken a composing fit. I have done two 
minuets and Jones quite a lot of gavottes bourrees & gigues.* 
He writes very well and we think of publishing a small col- 
lection together some day when we have got enough done, but 
this must wait for a long time, for it is only at odd times that 
we do anything. I will bring my minuets when I next come 
down to Shrewsbury. 

This is a very stupid letter, but I am afraid it must go for 

Letter 43: 

^Butler later noted on his copy of this letter: "All were rejected, I should 
think rightly." 

^William George Tozer (1829?— 1899) , retired from active church work at this 
time; he had most recently (1880-1881) been bishop of Honduras. 

^ On his copy of this letter Butler identifies the man as James Darmesteter 
(1849-1894), a French orientalist, and says he thinks the review never appeared 
because of Darmesteter's failing health. 

* Gavottes, Minuets, Fugues, and Other Short Pieces for the Piano by Butler and 
Jones was published in 1885. 


lack of a better — "With all best wishes to my father and your- 
self I am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler—' 

44. ^May to 'Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Sep. II [1883] 
My dearest Sam 

I think you must be come back again, on a dismal rainy 
day, if it was like our's yesterday, and I send you a line of wel- 
come. I am so glad you had a pleasant time, and I am sure the 
selling of your sketch must have made it pleasanter. I should 
like to have seen Mt. S. Michel and the jolly little boys & the 
gracious landlady. 

I have not yet got Alice Hall.^ I think she is waiting for 
Edward ^ to go but I hope to have her in October. Harrie is 
going to be with us a big piece of this winter from November 
to February I hope. — My father is well, but for a scrap of 
cold, nothing much. He walked 9 miles one day not long ago, 
not feloniously, but he missed a train, and it did not seem to 
hurt him, though I do not like him to do so much. He is just 
now deep in the life of Professor Palmer ^ — a brightly written 

^Butler's note, dated December 17, 1901, on his copy of this letter reads: "I 
suppose that seeing how ruinous writing was I must have gone back to painting 
more seriously than I had remembered. This must account for my having no book 
published (except the Selection book) between Alps & Sancts in 1882, & Luck or 
Cunning in 1886." Though dated 1882, A\^% and Sanctuaries was published at 
the end of 1881; Luck or Cunning} dated 1887, actually appeared late in 1886. 

Letter 44: 

^ See note 3 for Letter 4. 

^Edward Algernon Hall, Alice Hall's brother. 

^Edward Henry Palmer ( 1840-18 8 2), professor of Arabic at Cambridge, fellow 
of St. John's College; he was murdered in Egypt while on a confidential mission for 
the British government. His friend Walter Besant brought out a laudatory 
biography soon after Palmer's death. 


& interesting book. He must have been such a nice "all-round" 
man. I don't get on very fast, but I can do what I have to do, 
and the experienced all tell me that they felt their weakness 
more a good bit after than just after such an illness. The only 
moral is not if possible to do it again. 

The new greenhouse is now complete with its stand in, and 
we have some pretty new flowers, some from Ceylon, seeds of 
Ernest's, one of them the most brilliant velvety sky blue — 
convolvulus. Poor Edith is still very delicate, & ordered to the 
South for the winter. She will go to Torquay or Bournemouth 
I think. 

We hear very good accounts of Charlie * who seems work- 
ing well and steadily. Amy Cree was here lately — I think it 
must have been before I wrote last, that she broke her right 
wrist, falling over a little step in St. Mary's — it was very pain- 
ful. — I have been writing a number of necessary letters today 
— and am rather tired — so I won't go on — only as I suddenly 
remembered that you come home on the nth I did not want 
to leave you without a line. With my love, your ever affec- 
tionate sister 


45. "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, I, 391-392. 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C. 
Sep. 12. 1883 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's received this morning. I got home 
on Monday morning after a delightful journey from Havre 
with the sea as smooth as glass. I am very much better, and 
for the last two days sneezed quite freely with only the least 
bit of the old pain remaining. I had begun to fear that I shd 
not get rid of it, but I can see it will go unless I do too much 
again now; I hope it will not be necessary, but if I find it 

* Charles Butler, Tom and Etta's son. 


slipping back I shall take another fortnight somewhere before 
the winter begins — I did not like Normandy really a bit — all 
the time I was comparing it with Italy — very ungrateful & 
very wrong — but I cd not help it. I don't like the French 
character, & at Lisieux on my way back the boys threw stones 
at me as I sketched. I never had the smallest trouble with 
Italian nor yet with English boys. Fortunately an old lady 
watched the boys from her window, & scolded them: I never 
budged: I cd'nt, I was too well fixed up, & besides, that was 
what the boys wd have liked — so I kept my ground & took no 
notice. Then the old woman came down & routed the boys 
effectually, & I was grateful. I have done the best sketch 
I ever did in my life — this my sketch — during which the 
boys stoned me. By the way what I sold was not a sketch — 
it was a picture worked on for several days. I cd not have 
sold it otherwise. It has encouraged me & done me good — not 
so much for the money as for the finding some one like[d] 
my work well enough to buy it. Today I have been painting in 
London, but somehow I have not succeeded, & am down in the 
mouth about it for I had meant capping my best sketch, & I 
don't know why it hasn't come right. That's what plagues me 
most of all — when I know the work is wrong, but don't 
understand how & why, & wherein the error lies, but I gen- 
erally find out in a day or two. 

I am very sorry you do not gain ground faster; my own 
experience is that one is not aware of gaining ground much 
while one is gaining it, but suddenly one day one finds one- 
self pretty well. This is how it has been with my head this 
time, & how it always is every year when I go abroad. It was 
not till I was at Verona last year — after I had been 5 weeks 
out & did not feel to have gained at all, that it stole upon 
me that I was all right again — but change, if you can stand it, 
& if you can get it is the best restorer. A change is to a person's 
life what a cross with fresh blood is to an animal or a plant,^ 

Letter 4y. 

^ Compare the prescription of the eminent physician for Ernest's melancholia 
after he rids himself of his wife and children {The Way of All Flesh, chap. 79). 
Butler was writing this section of the novel at the time. 


but of course one must be strong enough to stand it. It rests 
by giving the mind other objects, & therefore even though it 
fatigues there is a gain. Pardon this preaching. I am sorry my 
father has a cold, but hope it will be all right soon. I did not 
think I ever saw him look better than when I saw him in July. 

Believe me yr. affte. brother 

S Butler— 

46. <tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Nov. I. 1883. 
Dearest Sam 

I have got back one of my children,^ who had made her way 
to London — & is at this moment housed in the jail, on remand 
till Monday — when we hope to have the other two. 

Yes, I am glad, for I hope to do something for them still, & 
in any case it is far the best lesson for the children at the 
Home. She succeeded in quite captivating the detective who 
brought her back! & to whom she told no truth at all. — 

I have had a good deal on my hands just lately, for two 
ladies came from different quarters, one for two nights & the 
other for one, both of whom are starting similar homes in 
different directions and wanted all the information they could 
get, & by the time I had talked of nothing else for 48 hours 
I did most heartily wish to smother all the children, & go to 
the opera! — 

We have had — & also, lost — the loveliest little cat that ever 
was seen. A little grey Persian which Hodgkins ^ sent us from 
Derbyshire. It ran away, and I fear we shall see it no more, & 
we are very low. 

I will tell you a nice sentence of a French lady's at a table 

Letter 46: 

^ One of the children in the home for illegitimate girls. 
^ Hodgkinson was butler to the family. 


d'hote "I am so glad I do not like asparagus, for if I did like 
it I should certainly eat it, & I can't bear it." — 

Maysie comes to us on Tuesday, & Harrie very soon after- 
wards. It is getting very wintry here, true November fog & 
damp, but not cold. — The last news I heard from Whatton 
was of the very sudden death of Mr. Miles ^ who has been ill 
for some time. How wonderfully the whole district has 
changed. Edward ^ has sailed for America. 

We have had squabbles in the kitchen & have given the tall 
cook Margaret, notice — much to her indignation — and I have 
my choice of 3 nice young girls whom I can order about & not 
be afraid of. I like your cookery book, & am going to get 
it; I will send yours back very speedily. 

With my love, I am always 

Your affectionate sister 
May — 

47. <tMay to 'Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Thursdy. Dec. ^ [1883] 
Dearest Sam 

My father's cold which did not seem at all serious yesterday 
morning — (he was in the drawing room doing his plants) has 
developed into bronchitis, and he seems gravely ill. — He has 
slept much, but takes all the nourishment ordered, which 
amounts to a good deal. We think you should know, but we 
will of course send a card after the doctor has been this morn- 
ing. He saw him yesterday aftn. first. 

Your affectionate sister 

^Robert Henry William Miles, rector of Bingham. (See note y for Letter 28.) 
He died on October 25:, 1883, at the age of 64. 

* Edward Hall. (See note 3 for Letter 4.) There is a letter from Hall to Butler 
from 208 Fifth Avenue, New York, dated January 8, 1884. (Correspondence in 
the British Museum.) 


48, <^ay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Dec. 24. 1883. 
My dearest Sam 

I send a line by a midday post today in hopes that it may 
greet you tomorrow morning & wish you a happy Christmas. 
My father goes on capitally, is getting hungry, & intends 
to walk 'round his bed' this afternoon, and he is really able 
to read a little tiny bit now, & is very cheerful & bright, & I 
think he begins to realize how ill he has been, & will be careful, 
at least for a time. He has been considering two bottles of 
sugarplums for the Home children! and is anxious about the 
welfare of cinerarias & chrysanthemums. I am getting quite 
well again & am enjoying this most lovely day, which is like 
sunny spring. 

With Harries* love & mine I am dear Sam 

Your very affectionate sister 

49. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir y I, 403. 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C. 
Jany. 9. 1884. 
Dear May, 

I have missed the post, but will keep this open, and by me 
to add a line tomorrow in case anything turns up. 

I was very glad to receive your letter written on Sunday. 
Please again congratulate my father from me; I hope now 
that as this mild weather continues he will pick up fast, & be 
caught looking not only at the stairs but at the outside of the 
hall door before so many days are over, but we must be care- 
ful how we put imprudent ideas into his head. 

I forgot to say that Tom did write to Jones as usual for his 


dividend,^ but he desired them to be sent to himself at an 
address in a Flemish part of Brussels, and not to Louis Loos, 
Rue des Petits Carmes, as before. 

I sent a copy of his note at once to Etta. There was nothing 
to be made out of it except that he was still in Brussels. He 
may still have the business or he may not. 

Some 13 or 14 years ago I gave a couple of pounds for a 
picture purporting to be by Reynolds ^ at an auction in Ox- 
ford Street. I thought it was one, & so did Heatherley,^ whom 
I got to come & look at it before I bought it. I have had it 
ever since, & in the Autumn seeing there was to be a Reynolds 
exhibition ^ I determined to send it on loan. They have ac- 
cepted it as so writes their secretary, "an indisputable Rey- 
nolds" and hung it so I now figure in the catalogue as having 
lent them a Reynolds. It is not in a very good state, but it 
can be restored, and if ever I want to sell it, now that I can 
give it a character and appeal to its having been in the 
Grosvenor Reynolds exhibition. I think it shd be worth some- 
thing, so I am rather pleased. 

By the way Harrie was kind enough to talk of sending me 
some eggs— will you say please that while thanking her none 
the less I can now get capital fresh eggs as the French new 
ones have come in, as cheap as she can buy them in Shrews- 
bury. From now to the middle of May really good eggs can 
be got as easily in London as any where. 

I am very well. My head is now perfectly well. I cannot 
feel the slightest trace of mischief remaining. 

Letter 49: 

^ Butler was executor of the trust fund from which Tom received dividends; 
Jones acted as his solicitor. 

^ Jones identifies this as a portrait of the Countess of Egremont (Memoir, I, 
403). Walter Armstrong lists the painting as by Reynolds in Sir Joshua Reynolds 
(1900), p. 204. Ellis Waterhouse, however, rejects the authority of Armstrong's 
book and that of the Grosvenor Gallery in accepting the portrait as genuine; "I 
should say the odds are against its being a genuine Reynolds and against its being 
Lady Egremont," Professor Waterhouse writes in a personal letter dated Novem- 
ber 14, 1955. 

^Thomas Heatherley. (See note 2 for Letter 8.) 

* The Grosvenor Gallery exhibition of Reynolds, December 31, 1883— March 29, 


I am to bring out at Easter a book of extracts — the best 
chapters — from my first six books ^ — to keep me before the 
pubHc a little until I can get the book out [on] wh: I am now 
engaged ^ ready. This will be a matter of time for it is much 
the most arduous task I have yet undertaken & necessitates my 
being well up in all the latest information. 

On second thought I will not keep this open so conclude 
with every good wish for my father's complete recovery & to 
him & both of you — Believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

50. "Butler to <iMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Jany. 16. 1884 
Dear May 

Thank you for yrs. received this morning. Again congratu- 
late my father from me (I hope you do congratulate him, but 
as you never say you do & he never sends any message I am 
left rather in the dark unless I write straight to him which 
I suppose it is a charity not to do just now) — I am sure Dr. 
Burd is quite right about the boots especially if the weather 
with you is as raw and cold as it is here today. 

Will you also ask him if he knows the silver beech as a tree 
singularly sulky and mindful of injury? I was in Kensington 
gardens a few mornings ago, and my eye was caught by 
seeing 18 13 cut in bold clear letters on the trunk of a tree. 
The tree looked so young (that I) and the cutting so clean 
that I cd not believe it to be a genuine date & went up to 
the tree to inspect. I found it covered with names cut from 
the dates lyij ^ ^73^ both very clean & perfectly unmis- 

^ Selections from Previous Works, with "A Psalm of Montreal" and Remarks on 
G. J. Romanes' "Mental Evolution in Animals." 

® Luck or Cunning} It appeared almost three years later. 


takably genuine to the present day. I found 4 more of these 
silver beeches close by & in each case the cutting lasted with 
a freshness far beyond that of any other tree I ever saw. Com- 
mon beech is not that I know of particularly retentive of 
injury, but if you so much as scratch the silver beech it never 
forgives you. 

Another curious sight I saw this morning. I was going to 
the British Museum and saw a crowd outside the corner house 
of the street going from Gt. Russell Street to Russell Square. 
It was a curious shaped crowd & a curiously behaving crowd. 
I cd see in the distance that it was not a fight, nor a fire, nor 
a man being taken up & I kept thinking to myself what an 
odd behaving crowd it was — all the time I drew nearer. The 
people walked up to the area, looked down — talked a little 
and went on. When I came up I found that two horses had 
found their way into the area. One had shied, swerved from 
the road and falling against the iron railing had knocked it 
down & tumbled down the area. The other was blind & went 
where its mate went, and there they were. They said one was 
hurt but the other not. The area was so narrow that there was 
no room for them to turn round so how they are to be got 
out I know not. 

So Hal ^ is in love. I wish him joy. I shall never marry my- 
self, I think that seems (quite) decided. It is quite clear that 
every one cannot do so, and I am not sure that I do not de- 
serve well for standing aside & making room for others — but 
those things come of themselves — bachelorhoods are made in 
heaven quite as much as marriages. Any way I wish him & all 
of you joy though I suppose the event is not going to come off 
immediately. And I am very glad you are looking out for an- 
other billet for him ; it is cruel work where he is ^ — 

Yr affte. brother 
S. Butler. 

Letter jo: 

^ Henry Thomas Butler. (See Biographical Sketches.) 
^See note 2 for Letter 61. 


51. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

[15 Clifford's Inn] 
Sunday evening. 
Jan 20, 1884 
No. Silver birch will not do at all — I mean silver beech. There 
are seven trees in all in Kensington gardens of this kind wh: 
is a variety of the beech, throwing up a long straight smooth 
white trunk to a good height; not spreading out pretty soon 
with inter twining, inter growing branches & brilliant green 
trunk as the common beech does, but as soon as the boughs 
have begun to part from the trees they keep more clear of one 
another. The bud is like that of the common beech. I think 
the tree is rare, for I told Mr. Salter ^ of it a few days ago & 
he did not know it — 

Very glad of your good account of my father 

S. B. 

52. "Butler to (tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, I, 403-404. 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C. 
[February i, 1884] 
Dear May 

Thank you for your*s received yesterday. I am very sorry 
that my father must still remain a prisoner, for I know how 
much he must feel it, & how much I shd feel it if I were in 
his place, but I dare not say a syllable that shd encourage 
rebellion, so can only express my sympathy. 

I have got a very bad cold — or rather have had, for today 
I am much better, but am still in that uncomfortable state in 

Letter 51: 

^Samuel James Augustus Salter (1825-1897), by profession a dental surgeon; 
he shared Butler's interest in botany. 


which a heavy cold leaves one. I go about however much as 

I am very sorry for the black cat. I am sure animals feel 
very jealous of a new inmate when they have had everything 
their own way for some years. I hope however that her age & 
experience will make her able to hold her own & shall be 
glad to hear that the two have found a modus vivendi. I shd 
think the old black cat carried as many guns as most cats do, 
& will find ways of saying nice little nasty things if the new 
one does not fall into her proper place. 

I see advertised a book called "The Sagacity & Morality of 
Plants." ^ It is to appear shortly. What are we coming to? And 
what will the vegetarians do? You know perhaps that Mr. 
Darwin in his later years edged strongly towards giving in- 
telligence to plants, though he never went so far as to say so 
point blank. I shall be very curious to see this book. I wonder 
whether the writer will say that carrots are passionate because 
they have such a red root. 

I saw this advertised in last week's (or the week before) 
Athenaeum.^ In last weeks's I had a letter challenging Mr. 
Romanes for having given a wrong reference.^ He said Canon 
Kingsley first advanced the theory connecting Heredity & 
Memory — & did so in Nature Jan. i8th 1867. I went to Na- 
ture to see what Canon Kingsley had said, & found that Na- 
ture did not begin to appear at all till nearly three years after 

Letter 52; 

^"Science Gossip" in the Athenaeum for January 16, 1884, announced the forth- 
coming publication of this book by John Ellor Taylor. The book begins by quot- 
ing Darwin on the similarity of plants and human beings and then develops the 
analogy. One chapter, for example, is entitled "'Social and Political Economy of 

^ The announcement of Taylor's book appeared in the issue of the previous 
week. The same issue contains Butler's challenge of Romanes which he mentions 

^ Rankling under Romanes' unfavorable review of Unconscious Memory (see 
note 3 for Letter 37), Butler wrote to the Athenaeum (January 26, 1884, p. 124) 
pointing out that Romanes' attribution of the phrase "hereditary memory" (in his 
Mental Evolution in Animals, p. 296) to Charles Kingsley (18 19-1875), the 
novelist, was wrong — that the volume of Nature which Romanes cited does not 
exist. Butler claimed that the phrase was his, but actually the phrase occurs in an 
earlier article by Kingsley in Eraser's Magazine, 75 (June, 1867), 808, though, as 
the title of the article, "A Charm of Birds," suggests, not in a scientific context. 


this date & that there was nothing from Kingsley in any way 
bearing upon the subject. So I wrote in the Athenaeum & 
asked for the correct reference — very civilly — assuming that 
Mr. Romanes had made a slip. Romanes has not replied,^ & I 
could see by the smile on the editor's face when we discussed 
the matter that he did not expect him to. I shd have thought 
he would have done so. 

The editor of the Athenaeum announced my book of Selec- 
tions very prominently in the preceding week,^ I thought he 
had done it by chance, but it was not so for he said "I gave 
your announcement an exceptionally good place." When I was 
so unpopular after writing Evolution Old and New, the 
Athenaeum & Academy both declined to announce my two 
next books Unconscious Memory & Alps & Sanctuaries. As 
they have both given prominence to my new announcement 
I flatter myself that I am making way. I think that Mr. Dar- 
win's being no longer alive will make a great difference to me. 

What a lot I have written about my books — but then my 
books are to me much the most important thing in life. They 
in fact are "me" much more than anything else is. The mag- 
num opus is at a stand still while I am putting this stop gap 
through the press & touching up the remarks which it will 
contain on Mr. Romanes's new book.^ 

With all best wishes believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S— Butler. 

* Romanes admitted the error in the Athenaeum for March 8, 1884 (pp. 313- 
314), not in reply to Butler but in reply to the review of his book in the 
Athenaeum for March i (pp. 282—283) which includes some of Butler's charges. 

^ The fourth item of "Literary Gossip" is a discussion of Butler's forthcoming 
Selections from Previous 'Works {Athenaeum, January 19, 1884, p. 89). 

^ Selections from Previous Works contains a chapter, "Remarks on Mr. 
Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals." 


53- Sutler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Feb. 12. 1884. 
Dear May- 
Thank you for your's received this morning. I am very 
sorry my father cannot go out yet — but I again dare not 
do more than express my sympathy, for of course we all 
know that Dr. Burd will let him but the first moment he 
dares. I am glad to hear he is so patient. Does he come down 
to breakfast and stay up to supper? I presume he does, but 
I shd like to know. 

I have got rheumatism in my left arm today & can hardly 
lift it — the remains of my cold which hangs about & has 
pulled me down a good deal. I don't think I ever had such 
bad rheumatism before — but I have been to the Museum all 
day as usual. 

I went to dine at Chester Terrace on Saturday. I thought 
my uncle looking remarkably well and quite recovered from 
his illness of the early winter. I also went to dine at the Beales ^ 
a few days ago. We are all wondering who will be the new 
editor of the Times. I did not like the old one, but am glad 
to see that the Times has gone very much against the govern- 
ment these last few days.^ I went to hear Romanes lecture at 
the Royal Institution on Friday last.^ I never heard a worse 
lecture nor one worse delivered. I did not want to go — I said 
there wd be no fun in it — but my friends said I ought to go 
so I went. I got no good by it, but am glad I went for I saw 
the man, & know what he is like, and besides know he said 

Letter ^j: 

^See note 3 for Letter 22. 

^ On February 11, 1884, Thomas Chenery (b. 1825), the editor of the Times, 
died and was succeeded by George Earle Buckle (1855— 1935). Since November the 
Times had been critical of Gladstone for allowing the French to increase their 
power in Egypt, and was at this time becoming increasingly critical. 

^ "The Darwinian Theory of Instinct." The lecture is printed in Notices of the 
Proceedings, Royal Institution of Great Britain, 11 (1884-1886), 131-146. 


nothing whereas if I did not know what he had said I might 
have thought I might have missed something. As for lying — 
the text is a very simple one. (Does any one) people set up for 
being better or more agreeable — or more clever — or in any 
way (a> bigger swells than their neighbors? if they do they 
will tell lies & be guilty of petty meannesses. If they don't 
they won't go far wrong — & if they do tell a lie some time it 
will be one that hurts no body. 

Believe me Yr. affte. brother 

S. Butler— 

54. "Sutler to (tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Feb. 22. 1884. 
Dear May 

I am glad my father continues to gain, and if this mild 
weather lasts shall expect to hear ere long of his having been 
well wrapped up & put into the close [d] carriage & taken out 
for a drive. I shall be very glad when I can hear of this, and 
am sure that I shall do so the first day that it can be allowed 

My rheumatism is gone, & so is my cold. I rubbed in kewts 
[5/c] horn & oil & it did me a great deal of good. 

Ashamed of one's country! Yes indeed I feel ashamed of it, 
and yet at the same time I feel that it is ever so much better 
than any other. I think we shall have a change before so very 
long, & am sure I hope so. 

I am glad Harry is coming to you. I hope Miss Dedington 
will keep him dangling on for some years so as to stop him 
from marrying any one else, & then throw him over just when 
he is becoming resigned to a bachelor existence.^ 

Letter 54: 

^ Butler later noted on another letter that Hal did not marry Miss Dedington. 


I heard the other day of two couples who came to be 
married & it turned out they had had their banns given out 
wrong, the wrong couples having been announced by mis- 
take. They were very angry & went away, but presently re- 
turned, saying that as they had come intending to be married, 
it was a pity that nothing shd come of it, so they had ex- 
changed fiancees, and wd be married as the banns had been 
read out — & married they were. 

My book of selections will be out next week. Through 
Mr. Garnett I set Moss Kingsley on to ask Kingsley's widow 
whether she knew of his having said anything anywhere of 
the nature of what Mr. Romanes said he had said,^ but she 
knew of nothing, & we think the whole thing is [one or two 
illegible words]. Of course I have given it Romanes pretty 
hot. Kegan Paul, Romanes's publisher came up to me in the 
Museum as I was at my seat a few days ago & tried to pump, 
but I was on my guard & said nothing. 

I saw Triibner,^ my publisher a few days ago, & found him 
most effusive. I saw he had lost faith in me when I returned 
to him from Bogue's & that though we were excellent 
friends he no longer had the same expectations wh: he had a 
few years before. I did not care: I knew very well how & why 
it was. It was because Romanes had published a book with 
him under the signature Physicus,* & of course had run me 
down. Now he is all the other way again, because he went to 
dine with Professor Mivart ^ the other day & he had spoken 
very warmly of my books, & had run down Romanes. Trubner 
knows less about literature than I shd say Hodgkinson or Dr. 
Burd does & of course only goes by what people with names 
say. '*But" said Trubner ^'though he likes your books so much 
he is very much offended with you." "Why?" said I — '^Because 

He did, however, marry Ada Wheeler (see note 3 for Letter 115) and become a 
citrus grower in Florida. Butler corresponded with Hal regularly and left him a 
considerable share of his estate. 

^ See note 3 for Letter 52. 

* Nicholas Trubner (18 17-1887), with whom Butler published most of his 

*A Candid Examination of Theism (Trubner & Co., 1878). 

^ St. George Jackson Mivart (i 827-1900). 


he sent you a letter & a review & you never answered his 
letter." The fact was I never received either letter or review 
& knew nothing about it — I wrote at once to Professor Mivart 
& said what Trubner had told me, & then it all came out that 
three years ago he had sent me a long review he had written 
of my three books on Evolution — Tnost sympathetic — in an 
American Roman Catholic Quarterly ^ — but that some how 
or other it had never reached me. He sent me his own copy 
at once on loan & the misunderstanding is now removed — but 
it is very vexatious, for Professor Mivart is one of the few 
men I can look to in the scientific world for anything like an 
alliance & support, & when he had made an advance to be 
supposed to be rude enough to take no notice of it is a piece 
of pure bad luck. However it is all right now. 
With best wishes to you all 

Believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 

S. Butler. 

J J. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, I, 410. 

1 5. Clifford's Inn E.G. 

Wed. evening. 

Ap 9. 1884 
Dear May, 

I send a few lines as I shall leave town tomorrow return- 
ing on Monday evening. We are going to Shoreham,^ but 
letters will be sent from here to me, I hope however that 
there will be none to send — still I never like quite cutting 
myself off from my base of operations. 

I am afraid you are not very well by your being ordered 

* Mivart, a Roman Catholic convert, treats Butler as the best of the theorists 
who see evolution to be a result of some conscious design {American Catholic 
Quarterly Review [Philadelphia], 6 [July, 188 1], 385-433). 

Letter 55: 

^ The home of Charles Gogin. (See Biographical Sketches.) 


to do no home work. I hope a Uttle change will do you good. 
Perhaps we can arrange a meeting at Etta's or at the Na- 
tional Gallery, but I dare say you will wish to be as quiet & 
do as little as you can so shall not be surprised if I do not 
see you. I am very well myself, and have not felt even the 
smallest trouble in my head since the little scare I had three 
weeks ago. A stitch in time &c — 

Herbert Spencer's letter is to my mind the most important 
thing in the whole controversy.^ It assures me that I was al- 
ready aware of & had not missed his most important pas- 
sages ^ — and those he gives do not enable him to claim more, 
even himself, than to have done the thing "by implication." 
As a matter of fact no one understood him to mean what he 
now implies that he did mean. The editor thought his letter 
(to use the editor's own words) "without definite aim" so 
that I need not reply and I was very glad not to do so; so the 
matter will drop — but in an appendix to Life & Habit later 
on I will say what I think advisable.* I am so glad to find 
that none of my opponents have been able to catch me nap- 
ping — of course I have known all along that I was writing 
with a halter round my neck. The matter is at an end for 
the moment, but you may be sure that it is in reality only 
the beginning & not the end. They will never be content to 
leave it as it stands, but will go for me in some other paper. 
The positions are reversed. Heretofore it was I who wanted 
to draw them & cd not get them to break silence — now they 
have been well drawn & it is I who am holding my tongue, 
& the more I hold it the more they will try & draw me, & the 
more the really influential people will incline towards me. 

^Spencer's letter to the Athenaeum (April 5, 1884, p. 446) concluded the 
argument between Butler and Romanes. Romanes and Ray Lankester (see note 4 
for Letter 32) wrote that Butler's work on evolution was worth considering only 
insofar as it reflected other writers, particularly Darwin. In his letter Spencer de- 
fends Butler and points out that Butler's theory relies heavily on his, Spencer's, 
'Principles of Psychology, a book published five years before The Origin of Species, 
and one to which Spencer feels Butler amply acknowledges his debt. 

^ In Spencer's Principles of Psychology (1854). 

* Butler included a discussion of Spencer's position in his next book, Luck or 
Cunning? (1886), chaps. 2-3. 


My collector^ called a few days ago with his accounts 
(quite satisfactory). When we had gone through them, he 
asked me if I were writing another book. I said "of course 
I am — I am always writing books," & shewed him a lot of 
Manuscript. "Dear dear me" he said "and is that Manu- 
script? I have often heard of manuscript — and is that really 
manuscript?" I was very much pleased — it was like Mon- 
sieur Jourdain on discovering that he had been talking prose 
all his life without knowing it.^ You remember Mme. Jour- 
dain on Latin? "Scavez vous Latin?" said the instructor 
"oui" said Mme. J. "Mais faites comme si ]e ne le scavais 
pas.'* ^ I think there is a c in Old French for "savoir" but 
cannot trouble to look. 

Mr. Tylor ^ says the moon was a small planet that came 
within the sphere of the earth's attraction. Perhaps we sucked 
her atmosphere away from her — but I don't know about 
that. He told me a lot about the tides — very simple & in- 
telligible, & there was a pluvial period as well as a glacial, & 
during the glacial period the level of the sea was sensibly 
lowered by the vast quantity of water frozen up as ice, and 
the skull is an epitome — well — I will tell you about the skull 
another time. I am very glad of this fine weather for my 
father's sake as well as my own. I hope it will last. Be- 
lieve me 

Yr. aflfte brother 
S. Butler. 

^ The collector of rents for Butler's houses in Battersea. 

^ Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Act II, scene iv. 

^ Monsieur Jourdain says: "Ouy, mais faites comme si je ne le sgavois pas" 
(II, iv). 

^Alfred Tylor (1824-1884), a geologist. Butler dedicated Luck or Cunning} 
to him, giving him credit for instigating it. 


5 6, "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, I, 416. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

May 5. 1884. 
Dear May- 
It is some time since I had any Shrewsbury news, & since 
I wrote, but doubtless both sides have taken the view that 
your visit is much the same as a letter. I hope(d> you liked 
Jones but we are afraid by your going away without waiting 
to say good bye to him that he had not made so deep an im- 
pression as he cd have wished.^ We have both of us done a 
lot of music since you were here, and are each [of] us well 
pleased with the progress of the work ^ — which however will 
certainly not be complete before next Xmas. It is quite certain 
to be done ^ by about then shd life & health permit. 

I hope you have not over fatigued yourself during your 
outing & will reap the benefit of it on your return. 

We are writing our own words as well as the music & imi- 
tating the style of Handel's librettist Dr. Morell.* We are sur- 
prised to find that the style is one which lends itself singularly 
well to adaptation to music, & think that much better poetry 
would not have been half so well suited for the particular pur- 
pose that Handel had in view. We have to cover a sheet of 
foolscap with trial rhymes before we get the right thing, but 
what we have got so far will suit us very well. At present I 
am engaged on a fugal chorus & Jones on a song which I think 
perfectly lovely. 

I have been wracking my brain to think of anything that 
will amuse or interest any of you, & have sat so long without 

Letter 56: 

^ In the Memoir, Jones prints most of this letter, but he omits this paragraph. 

^ Butler and Jones were at work on Narcissus, which Jones says was practically 
finished at this time {Memoir, II, 37). 

^Butler noted on his copy of this letter: "By 'done' I must have meant 'com- 
pleted.' It never has been 'done' in the sense of being performed, and I fear never 
will be in Jones's & my life-time." 

* Thomas Morell (1703-1784). 


thinking of anything that I will conclude rather than pad. 

I am very well & hope you are all the same, with all best 

wishes believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

57. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, I, 411. 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C. 
May 13. 1884. 
Dear May 

Thank you for yours of the 6th from which I am glad to 
learn that you are all well. I have very little news. I was at 
Mr. & Mrs. Salter's ^ last night, they being up in town for a 
few days — Mrs. Salter told me that Miss Burd ^ had gone over 
to the church of Rome & that Dr. Burd was very much cut 
up — I am extremely sorry to hear of this — it is really very 
sad. I hope the nice Miss Burd whom I met at the Salter's won't 
go too, but I shd be sorry to trust her not to. 

I was at the Tylors ^ on Sunday. They are the people who 
know the queen. It was all explained to me that it arose 
through a certain Mr. Allen who with the then Archbishop 
of Canterbury were left guardians to the queen by the Duke 
of Kent's will, but what the relationship between Mr. Allen 
& Mr. Tylor was was not explained to me. They asked me to 
bring Jones & were exceedingly kind to (me) both of us (for 
Jones went) and treated us very well. I like the old gentleman 
very much — (but the queen (I mean Mrs. Tylor) bullies him 
a good deal.) Their daughter married a son of John Bright 's ^ 

Letter 57: 

^ See note i for Letter 51. 

'^ Daughter of Henry Edward Burd. (See note 14 for Letter 31.) 

^ See note 8 for Letter 55. 

* John Bright (1811-1889), still very active in Liberal politics at this time. 


not long ago & I think I told you another daughter married 
a son of Canon Morse's ^ — 

There was also there a Mr. Horsburgh ^ assistant secretary 
of the Royal Institution, and one of the enemy's camp — I 
mean an intimate friend of Mr. Romanes. He asked me if I 
knew who wrote the articles in the Athenaeum, (re myself 
& Romanes) and this it seems to me was not a right thing to 
do. Of course I assured him that though I believed I knew 
who did them, it was a man whom I had never seen, nor ever 
had any communication with direct or indirect, & he didn't 
seem as if he alone half believed me. I was glad to have met 
him. And then Mr. Salter last night told me a delightful piece 
of scientific scandal against Mr. Ray Lankester how he mis- 
behaved about a Medusa found in a water tank in the Botan- 
ical gardens ^ — I was so pleased. 

The Tylors told me of a brother of Mrs. Tylors' who lived 
near Croydon & got into a new house. They had 23 servants 
and when they got into this new house the servants fell to 
fighting & there was a great to do. They cd not fall into their 
proper departments & were all upset by the change. So the 
master & mistress announced their intention of going away at 
once for a week to Brighton — to give the servants time to 
settle matters among themselves — on their return they found 
everything as quiet as possible — it had all settled itself much 
better than they could have settled it. 

^Francis Morse (i8i 8—1886), vicar of St. Mary's, Nottingham, known to the 
Butlers during the last twelve years Canon Butler was at Langar. 

® Probably James Macdonald Horsburgh, 30 years old at this time. His oflScial con- 
nection with the Royal Institution of Great Britain is not listed, but the Post 
Office Directory for 1885 gives the Institution as his address. 

'^ Four years earlier, Lankester (see note 4 for Letter 32) wrote to Nature, 22 
(June 17, 1880), 147—148, to report that he had discovered a new variety of 
medusa in the water lily tank in the Botanical Society pool in Regent's Park. Then, 
in the issue of June 24 (pp. 177—178) he admitted that George James Allman 
(18 12— 1898), an elder scientist of great reputation, had previously done a great 
deal of work on this jellyfish. Lankester oflfered to give up the name he had 
given it — "craspedacuata" — and allow Allman to name it. Allman, unimpressed by 
this ofFer, proceeded to attack the accuracy of Lankester's description of the 
medusa. The aflfair ended when the editors of Nature printed a grudging and un- 
convincing statement (August 19, p. 361) that they had misprinted Lankester's 


Our composition ® is going on capitally. I allow myself two 
hours every day at it. Jones does not get anything like so 
much, but he works more quickly. I have completed one air 
& broken the neck of another — and am getting on with my 
chorus. We have got sketches for most of the choruses. 
With all best wishes to you all believe me 

Yr. affe. brother 
S. Butler 

58. "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

May 29. 1884. 
Dear May 

I have solved the mystery of Jones's baby. It was my cousin 
Reginald (who entre nous is one of the worst narrators of a 
story that I know) who is supposed to have spoken of Jones's 
baby — & not me — wh: is all the more amusing as it was he 
who told me that / was supposed to have said it. It arose thus. 
He was telling the story of the child that said it did not like 
the kitten because it had pins in its toes. It was a neighbour of 
Joneses who had this child — the neighbour dropped out — the 
child became a baby — and thus the story has assumed its 
present awful shape. 

This is a good example of the way in which inaccuracy 
turns the most innocent thing all wrong — & shows also how 
much better it is to write to people at once & give them an 
opportunity of explaining before rushing to conclusions. I 
wrote to Etta last evening & got my explanation this morn- 
ing. Believe me 

Yr. afiFte. brother 
S. Butler— 

^ Narcissus. 


59' "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

June 20. 1884. 
Dear May 

I am afraid you are still a good deal out of sorts, but hope 
that change of scene and air will ere long produce the good 
effect upon yourself which they always hitherto have pro- 
duced on me. I have no news — am rather done up, but able to 
rub along. This is the time of year when I always am rather 
done up. I am still at work on my chorus — it is very difficult 
but it is nearly done now, and will, I think, do. I shall never 
have such trouble with another — and indeed see my way com- 
paratively clear now. Airs are much easier than chorusses — 
but then this chorus is a good long one. 

I have been exercising my rights as a free and independent 
voter this morning in respect of the Mid Surrey Election ^ — I 
have a few houses in Battersea which give me a vote — which 
I have duly given on the Conservative side, of course. 

I am to dine at Mrs. Danvers's ^ tomorrow & take her to the 
health exhibition ^ — ^which I have not yet seen, & shd not, I 
believe, have gone to if I had not been caught unawares & 
made to go by Mrs. Danvers. I suppose on the whole it is 
good for me to go — but I got on very nicely without the 
fisheries exhibition last year. I have not even been to the 
Academy yet — but shall go soon, in fact I have done nothing 
but write all the morning till about one & then compose all 
the afternoon. 

I got a very good musician whom I know a little to come 
& hear what we have done, the other night, and both Jones 

Letter 59; 

^ The Conservative candidate was returned to office. 

^ Mrs. Augustus Danvers, whom Butler met first at Verona in 1882 (}Aemoir, I, 

' The National Health Exhibition in South Kensington, one of the most popular 
attractions in London during 1884. 


& I were quite satisfied with the effect produced. He com- 
plained of its being comic, & said that the music was much 
too good for the words — but then that is what we intended, 
and to do what we are doing except by way of a jeu d'esprit 
wd be simply impossible. To do the whole thing in a serious 
spirit wd be [to] fly much too much in the face of the tend- 
encies of music at the present time. It is a case in which we can 
blurt out a truth with a laugh & a joke which cd never be 
said gravely. We thought of all this beforehand & stick to our 
original scheme. 

I really hope you will be better soon — don't trouble to 
write unless & until you are in the humour & believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

60. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Wed. Augt. ^. [1884] 
Dear May 

A line before I start to send my address — which for the 
moment will be Hotel Caspar Badrutt St. Moritz, ober En- 
gadin, Suisse. Jones's mother & sisters are there & we travel 
thither together. He is better & taking his holiday now will 
I doubt not set him up. I shall leave Jones almost immediately 
with his mother & sisters & go over either to Maloja or Bernina, 
I have not yet decided which, but letters will be forwarded. 
I am in a very good state to be benefited by a holiday — not 
too much done up to start with, but it was time I went some- 

I saw Elsie on Saturday evening when I called on Etta to 
say good bye, & was glad to have good accounts of you all. I 
hope you will do as nearly nothing as you can. 

I start tomorrow morning at 10. a. m. taking a 45 day 


return (to> ticket to Basle, where I ought to arrive on Friday 
morning at about half past six. I shall go straight on to Coire 
& sleep there Friday evening. Thence next day to St. Moritz. 
I think I have done everything I have to do except actually put 
my things into my bag & portmanteau, but as I have made an 
inventory of everything I want this is not a long business. 
However I must set about it, so no more except that I hope 
I may find you all well on my return — and am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

6i, "Butler to <iMay 

"Text: British Museum MS. 

Soglio [Switzerland] 
Sep. 7. 1884. 
Dear May 

Yours of the 3rd (of the) reached me yesterday evening — 
so quickly do letters travel now even to out of the way places 
like this. Thank you very much for it. Tell my father that I 
have not seen a ghost of a woodsia. In fact I will venture to 
say that they do not grow about here. I have some seeds of 
the mead tiger lily — if he wd like some of them. \One or two 
words illegible^ to sow some about Kent, as also some blue 
Sabina seeds. 

I am glad there is a talk of Harry's emigrating.^ If he 
doesn't mind it, it is much the best thing he can do. A railway 
clerkship wd be only the Queen ^ over again. It cannot do him 
any harm learning a little blacksmithing & carpentering, but 
I wd put in a plea for his learning the mystery of keeping 
accounts by double entry.^ A week wd teach it to any one once 

Letter 6i: 

^ See note i for Letter 54. 

^ Jones noted in pencil on this letter that Harry had been a clerk for the Queen 
Insurance Company. 

^Butler added a note dated February i, 1902, to his copy of this letter: "I taught 
my nephew how to keep a/cs by double entry myself." 


for all, & it is never forgotten when once learnt. If I had 
known this not very difficult art when I was in New Zealand 
it would, I am sure, have saved me many a pound, indirectly, 
if not directly. At any rate it is like being armed with a 
weapon of precision as against one of very uncertain accuracy. 
I don't want him to learn anything else at all. 

I am extremely sorry about Charley's thumb. I hope he will 
recover it by & by, but it sounds rather bad, & I shd have 
thought he ought to have got some feeling into it by this time. 

Harrie must mind, please, & let me have one of my father's 

I am getting a lot of black & white pen & ink drawings — 
much — very much — better than my last — so much so that I 
cannot think how I let the others go. These ought I think to 
come out very well. I have not done much oil. I shall prob- 
ably stay here till next Thursday & then return to Coire. I 
shall spend a few days at Sargans, & expect to reach London 
about the 20th or 21st. I think you had almost better not write 
till you do so to Clifford's Inn unless you shd have occasion to 
say something that will not well wait — but (either) Poste 
Restante, Coire, Orisons, Suisse will find for ten days from 
hence, & I shall probably be at the Hotel National, Bale abt 
the 19th where a letter wd find me. 

Jones tells me that a man named Browning came to stay at 
the hotel where his mother & sisters are, (&> as also a young 
lady * who is staying with them. It was reported that this was 
Mr. Browning the poet — the young lady, however said this 
was impossible for the poet had such a much grander head 
than this man, & (that) this man would not do at all — but it 
was Browning the poet all the time.^ 

My two young ladies are gone over the mountain to Cresta, 
but the Baroness who is cbarmingf & her husband who is also 
very good indeed remain — as do also the Italian family. 

If you can fancy a still young & extremely beautiful Italian 

* Edith Paine (Butler's note). 

^ There is some confirmation of Jones's report in Mrs. Sutherland Orr's Life and 
Letters of Robert Browning (1908), p. 343. 


Mrs. Miles, with a less beautiful Italian Jenny Miles along with 
her, you have the Italian lady & her daughter. 
With all best wishes to you all believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

62, "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, I, 437-438, and Further 
Extracts, pp. 171— 173. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Dec. 20. 1884. 
Dear May 

I write a line to say that I shall leave town on Tuesday 
morning for over Xmas returning on Saturday or Sunday — 
and as Jones & Reggie ^ will be with me & I shall have no one 
to send letters on whom I can rely, for Mrs. Doncaster's ^ 
writing is most uncertain — I shall not have any letters sent on. 
I feel sure I may cut myself adrift safely and we can move 
about so much more freely if we have not said we wd be at 
such & such & there at such & such a date. 

I have just come back from an at home at the William 
Rossettis.^ I did not know them, but Mrs. Rossetti sent me an 
invitation & said her father Madox Brown, the painter, wd 
be there & wd much like to see me. I used to know the Madox 
Browns but found that if they gave me a bun at all they 
wanted me to climb the pole too much & too often to get it 
so on my return from America I did not call & let the 
acquaintance drop. In the mean time Oliver Madox Brown ^ 

Letter 62: 

^ Reginald Worsley. (See Biographical Sketches.) 

^ Butler's laundress. 

^William Michael Rossetti (1829-19 19). His wife, Lucy Madox Brown (1843- 
1894), was the eldest daughter of Ford Madox Brown (1821— 1893), the painter to 
whom Butler refers. 

* Son of Ford Madox Brown by his second wife. The Pre-Raphaelites con- 
sidered him a most promising novelist and poet. He died in 1874 at the age of 19. 


had died, & I was supposed not to be as sorry as I ought to have 
been the fact being that I hardly knew him at all beyond (the 
fa) his calling on me sometimes & reading me his M.S novels 
which I particularly disliked; I don't mind reading my own 
MS.S. to people, but I don't like being read to, & I did not like 
either young Brown or his novels — and did not feel his loss 
so acutely as I ought to have done. 

However two years or so ago old Madox Brown the father 
wrote me a letter asking if I had any letters of his son's as they 
wanted them for a biography. I don't believe he ever wrote 
me a letter; at any rate I had none, but I took the opportunity 
to write prettily about the loss literature had sustained etc., & 
the old man wrote me back an answer saying something about 
*'silent equivoques" [equivokes] ^ whc I did not quite under- 
stand but it was rather touching, for I knew (the old man) he 
had been very proud & hopeful about his son. So when Mrs. 
Rossetti wrote me thus I thought I ought to go & did & there 
was old Madox Brown so I went up & said how glad I was to 
meet him again but he had forgotten all about it & evidently 
did not know me from Adam, nor care two pence whether he 
saw me or not — and his being so glad to see me was a wicked 
hoax — I was very much amused & rather comforted. The 
Rossetti's (he is brother of the painter) belong to a set from 
which it is perfectly hopeless for me to think I shall get any 
good — the ultra aesthetic cultured & scientific people & I don't 
mean to follow this up. The Tylors & Mr. Seebohm ^ are their 
very opposites and I will cultivate them to the best of my 
power. I saw Mr. Tylor last Sunday at Carshalton & Mrs. 
Tylor says he wd like to see me again tomorrow so I shall go — 
he is sinking fast & I fear cannot last long. I am extremely 
sorry. An old lady a Mrs. Sims has sent me a card also for an 
evening at home early in January. I like her very much — she 
is very good indeed, so I shall go. What a long story I have 

^ Butler's brackets. 

® Tylor (see note 8 for Letter 56) asked Butler to attend his lecture at the 
Linnaean Society on December 4, 1884. At this lecture he met Henry Seebohm 
(1832— 1895), an ornithologist. Butler visited both men, and often saw Tylor at 
his home in Carshalton during December; after Tylor's death on December 30, he 
saw little of Seebohm (MS Notebooks, II, 106-108). 


made about nothing. I hope you are all pretty well & feel sure 
you are or I shd have heard. I send my best & my good wishes 
to you all & am 

Yr affte brother 
S— Butler—'^ 

6} . "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

1 5 . Clifford's Inn 

Dec. 30. 1884. 
Dear May 

I found your letter of Saturday waiting me on my return 
on Sunday evening — very cold & rather tired — I also found a 
telegram from Carshalton saying that Mr. Tylor was "very 
anxious" to see me, so I had to go off to Carshalton again then 
& there and did not get back till nearly midnight. The poor 
old man did not want anything of importance but one never 
can tell what may happen — & receiving such a telegram I cd 
not do otherwise than go. I found they had sent up Skerbekly 
to find me in the afternoon if they could. I had promised to 
inscribe my new book to him ^ & to call attention to his ex- 
periments in the inscription, & this so pleased him that I must 
come at once. I got there at about nine & found him (scarcely) 
only able to speak very little; it really was heart breaking for 
he is so good & so patient. However I hear from Mrs. Morse 
his daughter, this morning that he is better and "a little more 

'' After modifying the account of his evening at the Rossettis' for his Notebook 
(further emphasizing what he took to be the dehberate rudeness of the Rossettis), 
Butler commented: "I have added to the letter as I wrote it to my sister, but all I 
have said here is correct. May wrote back, 'I very much sympathise with you in 
your objection to the ultra-aesthetic Rossetti school. It must have been rather fun 
to let them see you saw they did not really want you.' I did not 'let them see &c.,' 
nor say I had let them see. I did my best to conceal it. 

This [from May] was meant as a snub for me, it was her way of saying 'you 
have been to the Rossetti's indeed, but you must not think much of that, they 
did not really want you at all.' " 

Letter 63; 

^ Luck or Cunning? is dedicated to Tylor. 


encouraged about himself." I am afraid however that there is 
no chance of his recovery. Of course I feel in a very strange 
position going so much at such a time to people whom I hardly 
know, but I never go unless upon such a message as makes it 
absolutely imperative — and they are very good people who 
perfectly see that I shd not come if I could help it. They say his 
father had a very lingering illness before he died. 

The music book is not done.^ We took our M.S to Novello's 
immediately on my return from Shrewsbury to have it cor- 
rected, & have only got it back yesterday. There are no im- 
portant corrections — I mean no consecutive fifths or any 
thing of that sort, but he has made a (great) good many very 
small ones, not as correcting something absolutely wrong, but 
as slightly more elegant. Many of these we take gladly enough, 
but others we think mistaken. We shall return it in two or 
three days & then it will be out as soon as Novello's choose to 
let us have it. Of course we take all suggestions that we do not 
think absolutely damaging. 

I enjoyed my outing — but shd have enjoyed it more if it 
had not been so cold. I brought back 8 beautiful new laid 
eggs which I got for 8 a shilling & thought I had done well. 
I am very glad you give so good an account of my father — 
thank you for being so much more full; it makes me feel that 
I really understand how he is. I hope you will like the new 
man. I am afraid I have caught cold — I think that bitter 
Carshalton journey did it, but I will stave it off if I can. I am 
to see Elsie & Charley on Thursday. They are going to tea at 
Reginald Worsley's along with Amy & Teddy, & Jones & 
Uncle John ^ are to be there too, & uncle John will smoke a 
cigarette & sing a comic song. I don't think I have anything 
else that will interest you. You never admired my duet — I 
hope you liked it. All good to all of you for the new year 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

^ Gavottes, Minuets, Fugues, and Other Short Pieces for Piano by Butler and 
Jones was published by Novello, Ewer & Co. 
^ John Worsley. (See Biographical Sketches.) 


6^. ^May to 'Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Feb. I. 1885. 
My dearest Sam 

I want to send you a few lines myself, to thank you for 
thinking about me so kindly, & to tell you that my cold has 
passed off as quickly as it came. The mild weather of the last 
day or two has been very much in its favour. On Friday I 
thought it was going to be real bad, but now I am down stairs 
again, & a robin is singing outside our closed shutters, and the 
snowdrop clumps are coming up fast. 

I am so glad your leg has righted itself quickly. 

Papa has been to church, to a long full service, this morning, 
& seems not at all the worse. He did not cough much, Harrie 
says, & it was a great pleasure to him to get out again, and he 
has liked being at the Museum. 

One has been so glad to hear the little we heard from Mr. 
Jeifes,^ & I do think it seems as if people had shewn all the 
kindness & care strangers could. I don't know whether any one 
told you that Dr. Burd seemed to understand exactly the 
course of the illness, & looked on it as an aggravated form of 
dysentery. He says that if it was as he understood it, no doctor 
could have done anything after that collapse. 

How one wishes one could be always gentle. Somehow one 
begins to see that however much in the wrong people (p> 
may be, there is always much one wishes one had not done or 
said or thought when any softening comes, & one is sorry now 
to think how ready we all were — even I,^ for I am speaking for 
myself as much as any of us, to think some evil of this silence 

Letter 64: 

^ Tom Butler died in Corsica on November 30, 1884; he had disappeared from 
Brussels some time before. News of his death did not reach the family until the 
middle of January, whereupon Butler's father asked Mr. Jeffes, the vice-consul in 
Brussels, to send him whatever details he could obtain. 

^ Butler inserted "who am so exceptionally sweet," at this point. 


that if the end had come, it might have come in some far 
fnore sad way.^ 

Harrie & I wish that it could have been arranged for the 
clothes not to be sent, but I fear it is too late. Dr. Burd says 
there is no risk if it is as he thinks, but they would probably 
be much worn, very difficult to dispose of in any comfortable 
way, & perhaps the most trying sort of thing for Etta. 

Goodbye, dear Sam — my love, & I am your very affectionate 


The new man seems to do. 

6'), 'Butler to <iMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Butler-Savage Letters, pp. 357- 
358, and Memoir, I, 442-443. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Mar 4. 1885 — 
Dear May 

I ought to have written before to thank you and (Ma> 
Harrie for your letter. I attended Miss Savage's funeral on 
Saturday '^ — a very sad business. I find she died of blood 
poisoning after an operation for cancer, and I am told also 
that she was suffering from creeping paralysis. She did not 
happily suffer during the short interval between the operation 
& her death, and made all those about her believe that she fully 
thought she was going to recover, but she would do this what- 
ever she thought. The day before she died she said the first 
thing she should do when she got out would be to support the 
School board, for the noise the children made had, she said 

^Butler noted: "I don't know what she means. I thought Tom's silence meant 
that he was dead — & he was dead. I did not think anything else." 

Letter 6y. 

^ Miss Savage died on February zi, 1885, and was buried on Saturday, Feb- 
ruary 28. 


prolonged her illness for at least forty eight hours and she was 
determined to crush all the vitality out of them in future — 
this which of course was playfully said was the nearest thing 
to a complaint she made & the sisters who attended said it was 
a pleasure to have anything to do with her she was so cheerful 
& grateful. Towards the end she began to wander, became un- 
conscious, and died most tranquilly. For herself this is no 
doubt best, but to those who knew her as I did the loss is 
simply irreparable. I do everything just as if nothing had hap- 
pened, but in reality I can think of nothing else. However I 
will say no more upon this, and I would again ask you & 
Harrie not to do so. 

I am glad you like your new man servant. I am struggling 
with a cold and am keeping warm and quiet today. Last night 
I dined at Chester Terrace to meet Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Dar- 
bishire who Alice wrote wd like to see me. My uncle was 
pretty well & Alice I thought a good deal better than when I 
saw her last. 

We have returned all our revises but cannot prevail on 
Novello's people to let us have our books. Jones has one fugue 
which is I think of great beauty and very pathetic so we have 
had it headed In Memoriam E. M. A, S. which are Miss Savage's 
initials.^ Jones admired Miss Savage almost as much as I did 
though he did not know her nearly so well. I was anxious to 
connect her at once with the best thing I could get — and I 
could not have written so good a piece even if there had been 
time, but I will write the best I can for our next collection, 
should this one encourage us to repeat what we have now done. 
I saw the man who corrected the press a few days ago, and 
questioned him a little, as well as I could. He said he had been 
much struck with the pieces, & that nothing at all of a similar 

^ Jones explains {Memoir, I, 448): "Butler was consciously planning to as- 
sociate Miss Savage with his own work, that is with our album of Gavottes, 
Minuets, Fugues, etc. . . . [But] there was nothing of his that had any feeling of 
sadness, so we chose what we used to call my 'miserable fugue' in C. We never 
thought it worthy of her, but we wrote at the head of it *In Memoriam E.M.A.S.,' 
and there was only just time to do so, for the book was all but ready for pub- 
lication." The dedication is on p. 26. 


character had come under his notice. I said I thought it was 
many years since any one had published a collection of pieces 
frankly in the Handelian manner. He said ''not in fact since 
Handel died," which is true, and I was glad to hear him say it: 
please note however that this does not for a moment pretend 
that the pieces will bear comparison with what Handel did 
himself or with other collections written in different manners 
— it only refers to the style of the pieces. I am very glad you 
can give a good account of my father. Sir J. Lubbock ^ is no 
friend of mine. He was closely intimate with old Darwin, & 
is sure to view me and all my works with disfavour — 

Believe me Yr. affte brother 

S. Butler— 

I will come down, please towards the end of this month. 

66. "Butler to <s!May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
E. C 

April 2. 1885. 
Dear May 

We changed our plans at the last moment and are going by 
the excursion steamer from London Bridge to Boulogne — They 
take us there and hack for 1 2/6 and we think the change will 
be greater and do us more good and we shall get a whiff of 
sea — so we have decided to go and shall stay at Boulogne with- 
out moving about till Tuesday evening when the boat returns 
and brings us back to London on Wednesday morning. 

My address will be Hotel de Paris Boulogne — but I shall 
not expect to hear till after Easter now. I am very glad you 
can give such a good account of my father — with the warm 

^John Lubbock (1834-1913), at this time well known as a Liberal politician 
and as a writer of popular science books. As a young man Lubbock lived near 
Darwin, at Down, and received much of his scientific training from him. 


weather (now) coming on he ought to do well now for some 
time. I am certainly brain fagged and my eyes are trouble- 
some. I mean I cannot use them to the same extent as hereto- 
fore even for reading & writing. I don't like going for more 
than eight weeks at full swing without a broken week. I have 
often done it and always been sorry for it — this spring I have 
been close on 13 weeks and this is more than is good for me. 

We have had one friendly little notice in "The People" ^ 
but no more. I will send it but have not got it at present. It 
said very little, but was not spiteful. 

Also Mivart has been referring to Life & Habit with some 
fulness ^ — for though I am only mentioned expressly in one 
passage the whole article is against Life & Habit — or rather 
against what he chose to say is Life & Habit. His article is 
stupid & unintelligible, but it will do me good. It is in this 
month's Fortnightly Review. 

I have finished my minuet and shall take the chorus with 
me to Boulogne in case there is a piano & it is wet — but I hope 
for every one's sake that we shall have a fine Easter. I hope 
Harry will enjoy himself & have good weather too. 

Our boat leaves about midnight, but we shall go on board 
at 9.30 & go to bed — as they have good sleeping accomoda- 
tion on board — the voyage takes from 10 to 12 hours. I hope 
you will all keep well till my return — and as much longer as 
possible — and am 

Yr. afifte. brother 
S. Butler— 

Letter 66: 

^ A short notice of Gavottes, Minuets, Fugues which commends their "musicianly 
grace and generally tuneful character" {The People, March 29, 1885, p. 10). 

Mivart attacked the theory that there is an "unconscious intelligence" directing 
the process of evolution, and cited Butler's Unconscious Memory and Life and 
Habit as carrying "this hypothesis of unconscious intelligence to its last con- 
sequences" {The Fortnightly Review, 37 n.s. [March, April, 1885], 323-337, 


6j. 'Sutler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
E. C 

Apr 15. 1885 
Dear May 

Thank you for your letter received Monday morning. I am 
glad the opening of the Museum '^ passed off so well and I am 
also spitefully glad (and the luxury of small spite is a very 
pleasant one) that my father did not think Sir J. Lubbock ^ 
particularly successful. I do not like him and am sorry that 
the Bank holidays shd have come from him & not from our 
side. However that is only more small spite. At any rate I am 
glad the opening was such a success and am much obliged to 
you for sending me the paper. I keep catching colds & sore 
throats wh: are new things with me. I have had a cold off and 
on ever since the end of December when I went to see poor 
old Mr. Tylor that bitterly cold night & cannot shake it off — 
I think myself this spring has been a very trying one and wish 
I could see the weather cock point towards the S. West again — 
nor is my head right, by any means. I don't mind a cough 
shaking it a bit — what I don't like is its coming back again 
after it is all gone — when I have once got it into this state I 
find it very troublesome to get rid of. (However) I mean I 
don't like the jar & temporary headache caused by a cough 
subsiding & then coming back again in full force without any 
new cough, a minute or so afterwards. I got this first about 
two years ago & never got rid of it till I stayed at Wilderhope 
during my father's illness & did nothing for a fortnight. 
Then I lost it, & have not had it since till it came on the 
morning after I got to Shrewsbury a fortnight ago, and now I 
suppose I am in for it till the Summer — I have seen my doctor 
about it. He says it is brain fag — but evidently does not con- 

Letter 6j: 

^ The Free Library and Museum of Shrewsbury, purchased by public subscrip- 
tion, was formally opened on April 9, 1885. 

^ See note 3 for Letter 65. Lubbock was chiefly responsible for the Bank 
Holidays Act of 1871, Liberal legislation. 


sider it serious. I don't get on with my chorus or rather have 
not got on till yesterday when at last I settled satisfactorily a 
passage which I have written & rewritten till there seemed 
no end to it & now I hope I shall get on faster. We hear 
nothing about our music — Novello's man told me he had seen 
a very favourable review somewhere, but could not tell me 
where — which was vexatious, but he says they are selling fairly 
well. I am also very busy & deeply interested with my second 
volume of Life & Habit,^ which I think all will like who liked 
the first volume. 

Pray remember me most kindly to Alice Hall.* If ever she 
gets a chance of pumping Sir Arthur Sullivan about our 
Gavottes &c. I wish she would, but am afraid by his not 
acknowledging the receipt of them that he did not estimate 
them so highly as we do. I am sorry to hear of poor old Miss 
Hall's death. I am very glad my father keeps so well and am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

P.S. I believe it is settled now that the earth is older than the 
sun — and all the planets also older except Uranus & Neptune 
which rotate on their axes the other way to what all the other 
planets and the sun do. It has been a great puzzle why they 
shd do this & now people say they know: I don't quite under- 
stand it, but no doubt it is all right. 

68. "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, II, 19-20. 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C. 
June 30. 1885 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's received on Friday — By this time 
doubtless my father has got home and I am glad to think he 
had finer weather during the latter part of his outing; I am 

^ Luck or Cunning} 

* See note 3 for Letter 4. 


sure it must have done him a great deal of good. Please ask him 
whether he can give me a bed for a few days on Tuesday 
June [July] 14th till the following Saturday. If he can I will 
come down. Not that I have any thing to say or business of 
any kind but I shall be going somewhere for my holiday at the 
end of the month or early in next and unless I go then shall 
not be able to do so for some time. 

I went to an old acquaintance's ^ on Sunday evening or 
should have written then. He is secretary to the Joint Stock 
Bank of London and writes mildly broad church books. He 
had made what I am sure was a plant to bring me & one of my 
particular foes Grant Allen together. I had said I would go, 
and late on Saturday night — too late for me to get out of it, 
Grant Allen was sprung upon me as to be one of the company: 
so I must either make a good deal of fuss, or go & be civil. Of 
course the second alternative was the proper one — at the same 
time I did not like it, for Grant Allen had behaved badly by 
me,^ & I had given it to him pretty hot in two of my books.^ 
However I went and did the thing handsomely assuring him 
how glad I was to have the pleasure of meeting him and be- 
having as though there had never been the smallest row of any 
kind between us — this is literary etiquette: to do him justice 
he behaved very well too, so it all went off smoothly. There 
were a lot of other literary people (& scientific) people there 
and I derived more of an impression that last year's Athe- 
naeum row * had been working than I have done on any oc- 

Letter 68: 

^ Jones identifies this "old acquaintance" as Edward Clodd (Memoir, II, 19). 
Clodd (1840-1930), a banker by profession, had wide intellectual interests and 
admired Butler; but because of his close friendship with Grant Allen (i 848-1 899) 
— one of Butler's chief scientific "enemies" — Butler never considered him a friend. 

^ Allen reviewed Evolution, Old and New in the Academy, 15 (May 17, 1879), 
426—427: "[The book] is very characteristically Erewhon, or in other words No- 
where, spelt backward, and spelt backward incorrectly," The accuracy of the para- 
phrase that Butler gives of Allen's review a few sentences below suggests the strong 
impression it made on him. 

^ Butler answered Allen's review in an appendix to the second edition of Evolu- 
tion, Old and New (1882), pp. 339—342. This was the only book in which Butler 
quarreled with Allen, and when Jones printed part of the letter he silently cor- 
rected Butler's error so that the text of the letter reads: "in one of my books." 

*The dispute with Romanes and Lankester about the source of the phrase, 
"Hereditary memory." (See notes 3 and 4 for Letter j2 and note 2 for Letter 55.) 


casion since the row — but it disgusted me in a way too to 
hear Grant Allen praise Evolution Old and New so warmly 
and say of what great use he had found it and all the rest of 
it — which indeed is true (enough) for it has appeared clearly 
enough in his books — & to remember that when it came out 
he laughed at it & sneered at it as "leaving the reader without 
a single clear idea upon any subject whatever," and did it more 
mischief than anyone else I know — and all the time I had had 
his first book his "Colour Sense" submitted to me by Trubner 
in its sketch state, and did all I could to induce Trubner to 
take it — which indeed he did.^ However what it comes to 
virtually is that Grant Allen wanted to make peace & I let 
him — and I dare say it is as well — 
, With all best wishes to you all believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

6^. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, II, 22, and Butler-Savage 
Letters, pp. 361-362. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
E. C. 

July 24. 1885 
Dear May 

I arrived safely & without adventure on Saturday evening, 
and yesterday severed the last material traces — or rather I shd 
say devoured the last material traces — of my visit by {illegible 
word], finishing the excellent cream cheese my father was 
good enough to give me. It was very good indeed. By the way 
can my father spare Gretton's ^ little book "ferrago libretti" 
which I saw in the dining room. If he can, please send it me by 

^The Colour Sense: Its Origin and Development (1879), Allen's second book, 
the only one published by Trubner. 

Letter 69: 

^Frederick Edward Gretton. (See note 6 for Letter 17.) 


book post and I will return it in a day or two. Also I have 
your Paradisio Sonatas, or rather they are at Jones's — shall I 
get them & send them to you? You will gather from this that 
I am having my great annual tidying & cleaning up. I gen- 
erally do this on my return from abroad, but this year have 
taken it into my head that I shall enjoy my outing better if 
I feel that I have left everything very trim & shipshape — 
You know it was said that no one could be as wise as Lord 
Thurlow looked.^ I want it to be that no rooms can look as 
tidy as mine are. Among other things I am arranging in proper 
order and dating poor Miss Savage's letters & as many of mine 
to her as have reached me. This is a very painful business but 
no one can do it except me and the letters must have all the 
care bestowed upon them that I can bestow upon them. I 
should burn mine to her but they explain hers so much — when 
there are any — that I cannot do this. I do not find I miss Miss 
Savage any less than I did when I heard of her death. She kept 
all my early letters and all my latest ones, but for some years 
there are none returned to me. I destroyed her letters at first 
and did not take to keeping them till about thirteen years ago 
since which time I kept every scrap she wrote. How I ever 
came to burn her earlier ones I cannot conceive — but enough 
of this. I shall not go abroad till I have done all I have to do to 
those I have kept. 

Did you read Tennyson's poem about the Princess Beatrice's 
marriage? ^ 

I hope my father is well — indeed this weather he is pretty 
sure to be so. I will add no more and am 

Yr affte brother 
S. Butler— 

^ "On one occasion, during the progress o£ Mr. [Warren] Hastings' trial, Mr. 
[Charles James] Fox, struck by the solemnity of Lord [Edward] Thurlow's ap- 
pearance, said to the Speaker, 'I wonder if any man ever was so wise as Thurlow 
looks' " (George Pellew, The Life and Correspondence of Right Hon. Henry 
Addington, First Viscount Sidmouth [1847], I, 155). 

^ "To H.R.H. Princess Beatrice," a short poem in honor of her marriage to 
Prince Henry of Battenberg on July 23, 1885, appeared in the Times on that day. 


/o. "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, II, 22. 

Hotel Croce Bianca 
Varallo Sesia, Novarese [Italy] 
Augt. 23. 1885. 
Dear May 

Thank you for yours of the i ^th ^ to which I have been 
unable to reply till this evening I find myself quiet for a little 
while. I left Sargans on Monday evening last — slept at Coire; 
left next morning at 5.20 a. m and crossed the S. Bernardino to 
Bellinzona. At Bellinzona I lunched in company with the 
monk who is parroco of Soazza. I knew him and laughingly 
reminded him of how he wd not let me finish a study of a f esta 
& I had to go away without finishing it ; he had heard of Alps 
& Sanctuaries & wanted me to send a copy to Soazza. I again 
laughed & said I wd only send one on condition that he wd let 
me make a sketch upon a Sunday. He saw he was caught & 
gave me a pinch of snuff at once. 

"lo dico niente," said he laughing, "ma siamo intesi," ^ so, 
I suppose I must send him a copy. I had behaved quite rightly 
for I had asked leave & on being refused had not done the 
study so we parted amicably. 

Then I went on down the Laggo Maggiore reaching Arona 
on (the) Wednesday evening late. There I found the Albergo 
d'italia my favorite inn closed and the Zanettas gone. Next 
morning I went to Varallo by a series of small cross country 
diligences & arrived about six in the evening. Friday I out- 
lined, and the evening brought Miss Thomas & Miss Zim- 
mern.^ We three represent so far as we can see the whole 

Letter yo: 

^ In a letter to Jones dated August 19, 1885, Butler says that he received a 
letter from May reporting that it was difficult to get Canon Butler to take proper 
exercise. Butler thinks May's letter indicates that his father is weaker. 

^ "I will say nothing, but we understand each other." For an account of Butler's 
first interview with this monk, see Alps and Sanctuaries, chap. 17, p. 181. 

^ Butler met Bertha Thomas through Miss Savage, who worked as a governess for 
Miss Thomas's uncle, John Sumner, son of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Helen 
Zimmern (1846— 1934), known as a translator of Lessing and Schopenhauer, had 


foreign element that has come to do honour to Gaudenzio Fer- 
rari.* Yesterday we took a small vittura between us to Valdug- 
gia where Gaudenzio Ferrari was born. Valduggia is abt lo 
miles from Varallo in a Valley breaking off from the Val Sesia 
a few miles below Varallo. The country is enchanting and the 
festa went off exceedingly well. The town clerk of Varallo is 
an old & very particular friend of mine of some 15 years 
standing, & he took the greatest care of us seeing that we 
were well feted and we had to sign our names, as among those 
who had assisted, in the records of the paese, as we have had to 
do again at Varallo today. We rather like this, it is so charm- 
ingly incongruous. Today there was nothing done till after 
two since which we have been in a whirl of discorsi and flags 
flying and processions in which we took part of course, & to- 
night the town will be illuminated and there will be fireworks 
in the giardino publico. Of course I had much rather be 
sketching quietly without any festa at all; but the festa had to 
be gone through according to a long standing promise and 
after all I don't dislike it, and am gathering lots of notes. 
There are to be two more days of it and then I shall be able 
to paint again. I have chosen three excellent subjects and shall 
stay here another week at least as I want to do them. I think 
what I did at Sargans was abt. the best I have ever done, and 
hope to get some nice studies here. I think I shall have to give 
up the Valtellina this year and stick between here and Varese 
and Bellinzona till it is time for me to come back, at any rate 
I shall be (another) week here; I know a good many people 
here and feel as though I were rather regarded as among the 
institutions of the place, having been known now a good many 
years, at any rate they know I like them and make me feel as 
though they like me, so it all goes very nicely. They know 
Alps & Sanctuaries & keep pressing me to write a book like it 

just completed her biography, Maria Edgeworth, and was beginning a series of 
books on Italy. 

* Gaudenzio Ferrari {ca. 1470— 1546), a painter whose work is extensively rep- 
resented in the churches at Varallo, especially the Sacro Monte. (See Ex Yoto 
[1888], passim.) 


about them, & I expect I shall have to do it when I have done 
the one now in hand.^ 

I am very glad to hear my father keeps so well, and heartily 
hope he will continue to do so. Very sorry that John ^ does 
not gain faster. Believe me Yr affte brother 

S. Butler— 

J I. "Sutler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Dear May 

Hotel Riposo, Sacro Monte 
Varese, Italy 
Sep 9. 1885 
Your's of the 5 th ^ reached me yesterday. I am very sorry 
you cannot send me a better account of my father, but after a 
cold one must always expect the cough to be worse for some 
little time, and I hope your next letter will bring a better ac- 
count. I am also extremely sorry to hear of Rhoda & Bessie 
Bather's accidents, but hope that in neither case there will be 
any permanent mischief. I left Varallo on the 6th having I 
think made a very fair impression, but I was more or less an 
old friend to start with — I got to Varese town the same 
evening and here next morning. As usual it was a gran festa, 
but Alas! it was dreadfully wet both Monday & Tuesday, and 
the poor people, who came none the less, got such a drenching 
as many of them I am afraid will not soon forget. At five I 
got up & looked out of window — there they all were in 
thousands filling the broad road up to the Sanctuary, under a 

^Butler was working on Lx Yoto: An Account of the Sacro Monte or New 
Jerusalem at Varallo-Sesia. 

"John Worsley. (See Biographical Sketches.) 

Letter yi: 

^In a letter to Jones dated September 8, 1885, Butler says that he received a 
letter from May reporting that his father had not been able to leave the house and 
had had a bad coughing £t. 


sea of "humble brothers." Today it is lovely and the mountain 
tops being covered with snow I think it bids fair to settle 
down. I am finishing a picture begun 3 years ago, but then left 
incomplete through the break up of the weather which ended 
in the Verona floods. On the whole I am painting better than 
I have ever done yet, the last three or four summers I have 
hardly painted at all except the picture I am doing now & one 
at Mont St. Michel; I drew almost exclusively instead. This 
year I am not drawing at all except to outline, and I seem to 
have rather turned a corner. I expect the black & white has 
done me good, any way I think there is considerable difference 
between what I have done before and what I am doing now. 
The camera saves a lot of trouble. 

This is much the most beautiful of all the Italian Sanctu- 
aries qua place, and it is the most delightful place to stay at 
imaginable. There is a very nice Italian family here, an old 
gentleman his wife & daughter. The wife reminds me a little 
of Aunt Bather and the daughter is really very like Elsie. The 
old gentleman said to me today — "Why shd one take walks at 
such a place as this? e inutile — it is enough to sit here in a 
chair without going so far as to say that it is quite useless to 
take a walk at all. I do think that this is about as good as any 
thing North Italy can do. This morning I saw Monte Rosa — 
Monte Viso, the mountains above Genoa and the Apennines 
as far as Bologna with Novara shrines (or whatever they shd 
be called) Milan and the lakes of Varese, Gallarate & the Lago 
Maggiore ^ all seen through chestnut trees & vineyards. I do 
not know any such panorama as this — & then on the other 
side the marvellous Sacro Monte. 

I am better than when I left, but did rather too much at 
Varallo and my head is still not quite right. I shall stay here 
some days so you had better address here — then Jones will join 
me and I shall go so far with him on his way to his mother at 

^ Butler, standing in a semicircle formed by the Alps, was looking over the Po 
valley. Behind him to the northwest was Monte Rosa on the Swiss border. To 
the southwest at a distance were Monte Viso and the mountains above Genoa; 
directly below him, the lakes of Varese and Gallarate; in the valley, Novara and 
Milan, and further on, the Apennines, which stretch southeastward toward Bologna. 


Vicenza which I have long wanted to see, & which is close to 
Castelfranco about which Miss Thomas & Miss Zimmern have 
rather set my head on fire. Then about the 24th I shall begin 
to turn homewards. If I go from here before letters reach me 
they will be forwarded directly — these are most excellent 
people, and both feed me well and charge me little — the 
monde is exclusively Italian — no English ever stay here. 
Events I have had none since the baton affair ^ — With all best 
wishes to you all I am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

J 2, "Sutler to (tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
Fleet Street E. C. 
Oct. 12. 1885 
Dear May 

I had meant to have written before post time but have been 
hindered by small interruptions. I was very sorry to hear from 
my father that you had had one of your bad turns and am 
afraid this really bitter weather is not in your favour. I do 
hope, however, that you may be better; I am afraid I think 
that you do a good deal more than you have strength for: so 
indeed do I, and cannot help it — but I fear you overtax your- 
self more considerably than I do, it is no use however preach- 
ing to any one on this head. I am very well, but as usual find 
getting into harness tells on me at first — this is always so & 
it always wears off after a fortnight or so — it is my eyes that 
feel it most — so long as I don't read & write much they are 
perfectly right, but they will not stand the amount of con- 

' Butler tells Jones, in a letter dated August 26, 1885, about attending a per- 
formance of a new composition in the church at Sacro Monte. The composer, 
Antonio Cagnoni, conducted, and Butler was so taken with his skill as a composer 
and conductor that as a sign of his admiration he asked for his baton — and was 
given it {JAemoir, II, 23—24). See also £x Voto, chap. 17, p. 194. 


secutive using they once would ; printing does not try them at 
all — it is writing which they most object to. 

Please thank my father for his very kind letter. I am very 
sorry to think that he must now be rather a close prisoner for 
some little time, but am afraid there is no help for it — please 
tell him I will send my Athenaeum letter when it appears.^ 
I have written it, but am keeping it till Jones returns. I got 
him to go to the Brera on his way home — & see whether he 
agreed with me — he writes that he has no hesitation about it, 
so I am tolerably easy, for I impressed it on him to be sceptical. 
He will be back now in a week, and as soon as he has seen my 
letter I shall send it. It seems to me quite a pious act to give 
those two good men their portraits again — and such perfectly 
comfortable satisfactory portraits too. I cannot understand 
how any one can have wished to disturb them, fortunately the 
new theory which I am combatting ^ breaks down too com- 
pletely to admit of being resuscitated, for it requires us to 
believe that a man who was not born till 1510, painted as 
young men two men who were painted as in middle life or 
elderly in 1507, & again in 15 14: so I think I may say there is 
an end of that. 

I have written a very pretty minuet which came into my 
head while I was abroad, and am now doing the little that re- 
mains to be done to my share of the Cantata ^ — ^which I do 
hope will now really get done before Xmas. I have not yet 
resumed my book,* but shall do so immediately now. I don't 
think I have any news that can interest you — I saw Etta one 

Letter 72: 

^ The letter, "Portraits of Gentile and Giovanni Bellini," appeared in the 
Athenaeum on February 20, 1886 (p. 271). In it, Butler attempts to show that a 
painting in the Louvre attributed to another artist was a portrait by Gentile Bellini 
of himself and his brother Giovanni; as evidence he cites two very similar heads 
(which he says must be those of the Bellini) in a painting by Giovanni in the 
Brera in Milan. The letter is reprinted in the Shrewsbury Edition, XIX, 151— 15 j. 

^J. A. Crowe and G. B. Cavalcaselle, in A History of Painting in North Italy 
(1871), I, 133—134, maintained that the painting was not by Gentile but by 
Cariani and that the heads were not those of the Bellini. 

' Narcissus. According to Jones, they had made enough progress on it to have 
some of it performed in May, 1886 (Memoir, II, 37). 

* Luck or Cunning?, which appeared about a year later. 


day last week: she seemed fairly well, and Maysie was all right; 

I did not see Charlie. I dare say I shall get a letter from some 

one or other of you in a day or two and am 

Yr affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

j^ . "Butler to <iMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, II, 27-28. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Oct. 21. [1885] ^ 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's of the 14th. how fast the time slips by 
— I can hardly believe it is 9 days since I wrote. I hope you are 
better and that my father keeps well — this weather is nice for 
him here. 

No — I will not have any Persian cat — it is undertaking too 
much responsibility. I must have a cat whom I find homeless, 
wandering about the court & to whom therefore I am under 
no obligation — there is a Clifford's Inn euphemism about cats 
which the laundresses use quite gravely: they say people come 
to this place "/o lose^^ their cats: they mean that when they 
have a cat they don't want to kill & don't know how to get 
rid of they bring it here and drop it inside the railings of our 
grass plot and go away under the impression that they have 
been "losing" their cat. Well this happens very frequently and 
I have already selected a dirty little drunken wretch of a 
kitten to be successor to my poor old cat. I don't suppose it 
drinks anything stronger than milk & water but then, you 
know so much milk & water must be very bad for a kitten 
that age — at any rate it looks as if it drank, but it gives me the 
impression of being affectionate, intelligent and fond of mice 

tetter j}: 

^This letter is dated 1886, apparently by Butler at a later time, perhaps by mis- 
take in trying to clarify the last numeral. The contents clearly date it 1885. 


— and I believe if it had a home it wd become more re- 
spectable, at any rate I will see how it works. 

Grant Allen has brought out his Darwin and has made a 
handsome acknowledgment of Evolution Old & New in his 
preface ^ [three or four illegible words] to do this two years 
ago. Also the Athenaeum sent or rather personally offered me 
the book to review — this was the first time they ever asked me 
to review a book, but I declined on the ground that I had seen 
it and shd cut it up if I reviewed it, and I did not think this 
[would] look well considering how savagely Grant Allen had 
cut up mine. I was very sorry not to review it, but I make no 
doubt I was right. It is however a sign that I must have gained 
ground lately for they would never have done this two years 

My letter about the Bellini will probably appear in next 
week's Athenaeum — I think it is all right. 

Last night Jones & I both went to dine at Miss Thomas's to 
a "pranzo sociale" to meet Miss Zimmern,^ play Narcissus & 
talk Italy — it was very pleasant. Also I have at last done what 
I have threatened for some time past, and bought one of those 
new & cheaper Columbia type writers. I cannot yet write as 
fast with it as with the pen, but even now it is a great comfort. 
It saves all fatigue of eye, and then one can see so well what 
one has got. I have only had it a week, but I already feel I shd 
be lost without it, and it will save its cost twice over in a 
single book, for I can see my book in type before sending it to 
the press, and correct it so much better that I ought to have 
very little corrections in future to pay for. I have written my 

^ "There are, however, three persons in particular from whom I have so largely 
borrowed facts or ideas that I owe them more special and definite thanks. . . . 
From Mr. Samuel Butler, the author of 'Evolution Old and New,' I have derived 
many pregnant suggestions with regard to the true position and meaning of 
BuflFon, Erasmus Darwin, and the early essentially teleological evolutionists — sug- 
gestions which I am all the more anxious to acknowledge since I differ funda- 
mentally from Mr. Butler in his estimate of the worth of Charles Darwin's distinc- 
tive discovery of natural selection" (Charles Grant Allen, Charles Darwin [1885], 
p. v). 

' See note 3 for Letter 70. 


Athenaeum letter with it, and use it for all writing except for 
letters to intimate friends. I hope Elsie is all right and am sure 
you will find her [a] help to brighten the house — With all 
best wishes to you all believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

74. "Butler to <iMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
Fleet Street E. C. 
Dec. 22. 1885 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's received Saturday morning. I send 
this to say that I shall leave town on Thursday morning & 
return on Sunday evening — let me have a line on Thursday 
morning if you can manage it, and if it gives a good account 
of my father, as I have no doubt it will, I will not have letters 
forwarded: for that short time it really does not seem neces- 
sary & Mrs. Doncaster is very stupid about it. I have not yet 
settled where to go but it will be somewhere close at hand. 

I am extremely sorry about Mrs. Bather's hand. As for the 
shilling the man stole & he did not steal — this is one of the not 
uncommon cases in which a contradiction in terms is the most 
legitimate statement of the facts. If you choose to look at the 
'*steal" side of the matter you can see it to the exclusion of the 
other: if you choose to look at the "not steal" side you can do 
the same: the sides are so nearly equal in value that neither 
distinctly overbalances the other: this being so, a preponder- 
ance (with consequent formed opinion) is only obtained tem- 
porarily by looking at one side rather than the other. 

We find Jones's head is not ring worm — it is what is called 
Alopecia Areata, and is not catching nor connected with ring- 


worm in any way. He went to a specialist who at once de- 
clared it to be what I have said above only I don't know 
whether the first Latin name has two I's in it or only one. 
Fortunately whatever it was the hair has begun to grow again. 
The doctor said it was the result of a nerve-storm — but we 
neither of us were aware of any particular disturbing cause; 
still a nerve-storm sounds rather grand. He went out to din- 
ner the other day and heard a lady sing a song — a French song 
— so the lady's mamma told him — but to Jones it seemed as 
though it were about some Indian potentate whose name was 
Sir Cussha Sweesong Twar.^ The mamma said the lady had 
such a beautiful Parisian accent. 

Wishing you all a happy Xmas I am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

75. 'Butler to May 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts puhlished: Memoir, II, 29. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
E. C 

Dec. 29. 1885 
Dear May 

One line to say that we returned on Sunday evening as per 
programme. I think I must have caught cold; at any rate I 
have a very heavy one now, the first I have had this winter, 
and am fit for nothing — Tuesday is more particularly my day 
for going round my houses ^ & I ought not to have gone this 
morning, but went, and this evening am paying the penalty 
of my imprudence. Tomorrow unless better I will lie up. 
Curiously enough like all unimaginative people I have a fancy 
that every one else has a cold, as soon as I get one myself. 

Letter 74: 

^Ce que je suis sans tot (Butler's note). 

Letter 75; 

^ The houses he owned in Battersea. 


whereas until I had caught one I fancied that really no one was 
at all likely to have one; I hope the fancy is groundless so far 
as all you are concerned. 

There has come out a very angry and untruthful version of 
my quarrel with Darwin in a German book by Dr. Krause ^ — 
most unfair — but as it is in German I shall take no notice of 
it: they would not dare to say the same in English; I am angry, 
of course, but (I> think I shall probably do most wisely by tak- 
ing no notice unless the book is translated. I am getting on 
with my book,^ but never wrote one which I had to rewrite 
so much: it will probably be all the better for it. 

Please ask my father if he remembers a line in Horace "Nee 
mihi res sed me rebus componere. . . ." * Does he remember 
the last word — it sounds as if it ought to be "conor" but I 
have a half fancy that the o in Conor may be short; if he re- 
members ask him to supply the missing word; if he doesn't I 
will look through the Epistles & Satires of Horace. I want the 
passage as summing up the Lamarckian system, according to 
which modification is effected by animals & plants adapting 
themselves to their surroundings as well as they can, and as 
the surroundings gradually changed — changing too — 

* Ernst Krause, Charles Darwin und sein Verhalinis zu Deutschland, Gesammelte 
kleinere Schriften von Charles Darwin, I (Leipzig, 1885), 185-186. The passage 
summarizes Krause's view of the following events: In February, 1879, Krause 
(1839— 1903) published a sketch of Erasmus Darwin's life in the German pe- 
riodical Kostnos. Evolution, Old and New, in which Butler praises Erasmus Darwin 
as opposed to his grandson, appeared in May. In November, Charles Darwin 
published Erasmus Darwin, which he claimed was a translation of Krause's bio- 
graphical sketch, but which actually contained additional passages directed against 
Butler's position in Evolution, Old and New. Butler objected on the grounds that 
he was being refuted without being acknowledged an opponent. For Butler's view 
see Unconscious Memory, chap. 4, pp. 41—56. 

' Luck or Cunning? 

* Nunc in Aristippi furtim praecepta relabor, 
Et mihi res, non me rebus subiungere Conor. 

(Book I, Epistle i, 11. 18-19) 
Butler adapts and uses these lines in Luck or Cunning? (p. 79): "According to 
Charles Darwin 'the preservation of favoured,' or lucky, 'races' is by far the most 
important means of modification; according to Erasmus Darwin effort non sibi 
res sed se rebus subjungere is unquestionably the most potent means; roughly there- 
fore, there is no better or fairer way of putting the matter, than to say that 
Charles Darwin is the apostle of luck, and his grandfather, and Lamarck, of 


I hope you are all none the worse for this bitter wind 
and am 

Yr affte. brother 
S— Butler— 

P. S. How is poor Mrs. Henry Bather's hand? 
7^. 'Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, II, 29-30. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
E. C 

Jan 18. 1886 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's received this morning — please tell my 
father from me that I am extremely glad to hear he is so much 
better; ere long now we may consider the neck of the winter 
broken and on the whole he is getting through it very well. 
Pray again congratulate him from me. 

We were much shocked yesterday to find that a poor old 
man who keeps a public-house near Dartford, where we gen- 
erally take our beer with our sandwiches when we are in that 
neighbourhood, had been horribly murdered by a discharged 
soldier about ten days ago.^ The soldier murdered a customer, 
who was sitting before the fire, and then murdered the land- 
lord apparently without any reason. He was apprehended im- 

A man named Vianna de Lima has been writing a book 
in French, Les Theories Transformistes de Lamarck, Darwin, 
et Haeckel. It is only just out, but the Museum had received 
it and got it for me before it has appeared in the catalogue. I 
was pleased to find a perfectly satisfactory and unsnubbing 
reference to Life and Habit ^ as though to quite a standard 

Letter 76: 

^ On January i, 1886, the keeper of the Greyhound, near Dartford, and one 
of his lodgers were murdered by an army pensioner. 

^ Arthur Vianna de Lima, Expose sommaire des theories transformistes de 
Lamarck, Darwin et Haeckel (Paris, 1885), p. 106. 


book — so I set this off against The Athenaeum and Dr. 

I am getting on fast with my book which I shall call Luck 
or Cunning as the most important means of Organic Modifica- 
tion? The short title will be Luck or Cunning? which I think 
will do very well. 

Yesterday at last I found 'Tousse" * and having fixed it do 
very well. 

I hope you are better. I am pretty well all right again now, 
but had a long cold. I think the worst of the winter is over. 
I hope Harrie will get good by her outing, and am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

//. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, II, 34. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
E. C 

Mar 24. 188^ 
Dear May 

Thank you for your letter received this morning. I am very 
glad to hear that you are so much better and hope that with 
this fine weather you may keep free from a return of neu- 
ralgia. You say it is a long time since you wrote to me, and 
indeed I cannot deny that I had been expecting to hear from 
one or other of you; (for some day's post's) considering how ill 
my father still was when Harrie last wrote I confess I do not 
understand why either you or she did not write sooner. If I 
had not heard from Etta on Saturday that my father had 

^ See note 2 for Letter 75. After Charles Darwin's "translation" of Krause's 
article appeared, Butler outlined his case in a letter to the Athenaeum (January 
31, 1880, p. 155). There was no reply, and Butler felt that the Athenaeum 
intentionally shut oflF debate. 

* Jones noted on this letter that "Pousse" is a corn salad, which the French 
call "mache." 


come down to breakfast on the preceding day, I should 
have been anxious, uneasy & uncomfortable for some days 

My kittens came and alas! went — one after another died 
for want of sufficient nourishment — this being their poor 
mother's first confinement she had forgotten to make the milk 
necessary to feed her offspring & so one after another starved 
in spite of what I cd. do; I had found homes for three out of 
the four — and was very sorry to lose them. They were exceed- 
ingly pretty while they lasted, but none of them lived as long 
as four days. The cat came & told me that things were not 
going right frequently & I soon found out what the matter 
was, but I could not do anything. 

You say perhaps I shall try for the Slade Professorship 
again. ^ My friends advise me not & I think wisely. They 
think I am all right as I am & that a good many are saying 
I ought to have had it & that there the matter should rest. I 
ought not to give them the chance of refusing me a second 
time. I hear from Etta that Middleton is **in a galloping con- 
sumption," but no matter when a vacancy occurs I should 
make a mistake if I stood again. 

Jones and I have begun to score ^Narcissus;' it will be a 
long tedious business, but the difficulties like all others in con- 
nection with the work, prove mere bogies when attacked — 
in fact there is no difficulty about it. We are only scoring 
it for 5 stringed instruments. Horns, Hautbois, & Bassoons, 
for this is probably the band that will perform it. It will 
probably be performed (privately) next winter — indeed, un- 
less unforseen accidents occur, this will be so. 

I need not say I was very glad to get so good an account 
of my father; I think now the cold weather must be pretty 
well over — and am pleased to think that he will soon be able 
to enjoy more liberty. Here the weather is simply perfect. 
I am sorry to hear that uncle John seems somewhat seriously 

tetter jj: 

^ Butler entered the competition for the Slade Professorship of Art at Cambridge, 
left vacant by the resignation of Sidney Colvin. On March lo it was announced 
that J. H. Middleton (1846-1896) was the successful competitor. 


failing, I thought him a good deal aged when I last saw him. 
With all best wishes to you all believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

78. "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
E. C 

May 27, 188^ 
Dear May 

Thank you very much for your letter of May 21. I saw 
a few day's afterwards the announcement of John Bather's 
death as having happened on that day. I am very sorry for 
them all and for poor Mrs. Bather to whom under the circum- 
stances the blow must be doubly painful. I had not heard of 
John Bather's being ill, so conclude he had a sudden attack. 
Let me know about it please when first you write. 

I am very glad it is settled that Harry ^ is to emigrate, but 
am also very glad that no responsibility in connection with 
his going there attaches to me. I should think it was a nice 
step to take, and if I was a young man should certainly emi- 
grate myself but I think I should go to the N. Island of N. 
Zealand or to Australia, (myself.) I am very glad to hear he 
has been so exemplary in putting by money, not only for his 
own sake but from an avuncular point of view; a pecunious 
nephew is so far more agreable in every way than an impe- 
cunious one. 

There is to be a Shrewsbury dinner on the 23d. I cannot 
say that I want to go — I look upon my school days as matters 
of ancient history — all very well in their way and doubtless 
exceedingly interesting once, but no longer seriously concern- 
ing me: still I suppose I ought to go — at least people tell me 
I rather ought so I have said I shall do so. 

Letter jS: 

^Butler's nephew. (See Biographical Sketches.) 

Jones almost collapsed after the fatigues of the i8th; ^ for 
some days I thought he was going to be ill, but it has passed 
and he now seems all right again. Reggie Worsley said next 
day "well I've attended a great many rehearsals but I never 
saw one more successful." He said the players were applauding 
all the while between every piece — ^which neither Jones nor I 
knew; it seems the way they do it is to pat their violins, & this 
makes so little noise that it was lost in the clapping &c — 
of our small audience. At any rate I was very glad to hear 
they had done so. A tame oratorio is a delightful pet but he 
is something like a tame elephant and would eat Jones & me 
out of house & home if we did not keep him in his proper 
place. As for printing it — we might just as well throw our 
money into the sea.^ Nevertheless we shall go on with the 
chorusses as fast as we can, but I have announced my book * 
for October and have still more to do to it than I like. I 
imagine that this book will do very well. 

I am very glad you can send such good accounts of my 
father & hope that you & Harrie keep fairly well. 

Believe me yr. affte. brother 

S— Butler. 

79. 'Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, II, 37-38. 

15 Clifford's Inn 
E. C 

June 3, 1886 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's of the 28 th. I am very sorry my 
father has had toothache and hope that it was a loose old 
stump & that the dentist chloroformed his gums well, in 

^ Jones writes: "We had made sufficient progress to have a rehearsal of some 
of it [Narcissns'\ on the i8th of May in Gogin's studio in King Henry's Road, 
followed by supper in the studio of another painter, Joseph Benwell Clark, on 
the floor below. Butler's cousin, Reginald Worsley, who knew many violinists and 
other players, got the band together . . ." {Memoir, II, 37). 

^ It was printed by Weekes & Co. in June, 1888. 

* Luck or Cunning? 


which case the operation is not a serious one; I wish it had 
been the Grand Old Man ^ instead & in that case I confess 
I should not have cared how tight the stump was in, nor how 
little chloroform was given him. However it seems as though 
his political days are numbered and that being so we may 
perhaps allow him to keep his teeth in peace. I really do think 
it looks as if the rejection of the Irish bills was pretty safe 
now,^ and over and above my desire to see them rejected on 
grounds of public welfare I want them to be so because from 
the first I maintained that the house of Commons could never 
pass them — or at any rate never would, and I like being 
right. However the matter is not settled yet & we must wait 
and see. 

I have no doubt you are wise in closing your home.^ I am 
afraid in that matter I am on the side of the political econ- 
omists & regard all such attempts as you are making with dis- 
trust — not as doubting that they are often successful in in- 
dividual cases but as believing that the same amount of money 
and trouble can probably be turned to better account in other 
ways — and of course what one aims at is making the most of 
what one can command. 

Jones and I went to a Philharmonic concert last night ; ^ we 
went to the shilling places behind the orchestra and sat close 
to the drums so we could see each instrument & hear what 
it was about. I do wish people would not make their move- 
ments so long. We have resolved that all our movements shall 
be of reasonable length. I am afraid I liked our own music a 
great deal better than Beethoven's, but then, of course if we 
had been devoted admirers of Beethoven we should have 
founded ourselves on him and imitated him as we have imi- 
tated Handel. Narcissus's successor is to be called Ulysses ^ — 

Letter 79: 

^ Gladstone. 

^ The Irish Home Rule Bill was defeated on June 7, and the Conservatives 
were returned in the general elections which followed. 

*May was giving up her home for illegitimate girls. 

* Butler gives a more detailed account of this performance in Shrewsbury Note- 
Books, pp. 129-13 1. 

^Butler noted on his copy of this letter: "Here, then, is the beginning of a 
deflection on to Odyssey & Iliad, which I little foresaw, but over which I now 
rejoice. S.B. Feb. 26, 1902." 


and is this time a serious work dealing with the wanderings 
of the real Ulysses — and treating the subject much as Her- 
cules or Semele were treated. We think we could get some 
sailor choruses & some Circe & pig choruses & the Sirens, & 
then Penelope and her loom all afford scope. I made up my 
mind about it when I read Charles Lamb's translation of parts 
of the Odyssey in Ainger's book ^ — but please don't say any- 
thing about it. 

I don't believe in Florida. I do believe in emigration — and 
shall not be sorry to hear when Henry goes out there that he 
has gone to some other state or even to Canada, or Australia 
or New Zealand. I hear that the climate for 5 months in the 
year is very unhealthy. Has young Atkinson ^ actually made 
money? Is he receiving an income or is he only going to make 
it? & has he spent a summer in the place? 

I hope you are all pretty well & am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

80. "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

E. C. 

July 21, 1886. 

Dear May 

Thank you for your's received this morning — yes I will 

come on Monday by the usual train leaving Paddington at 

^Alfred Ainger, a friend of Butler's cousin Henry Bather, published Charles 
Lamb, a short life, in 1882. Butler read it while visiting Shrewsbury in 1886. 
Ainger's book does not contain Lamb's "translation of parts of the Odyssey," 
but suggestive criticism of the Odyssey from Lamb's Preface is quoted (pp. 6j— 
68). Jones says that this brief mention of the Odyssey inspired Butler to begin his 
Ulysses (Introduction to The Authoress of the Odyssey, Shrewsbury Edition, XII, 
xvii— xxiii) , and he is supported by Butler's note (MS Notebooks, IV, 87, July 6, 
1891): "People will say it is odd that I who must have known the Odyssey so 
well &c. should have departed from it so widely in my libretto of Ulysses. The 
fact is I wrote the libretto & my 5 songs without looking at the Odyssey, & only 
looked at the original when the work was nearly done as far as I was concerned." 

'' Henry used letters from a friend, Atkinson, who had emigrated to Florida, to 
convince his family that he should go too. 

16 Z 

lo & reaching Shrewsbury at 2.45. I called on Harry on Mon- 
day afternoon and learned that he and Elsie meant going on 
the following day (that is to say on Tuesday next) so I shall 
see something of him, which I shall be very glad to do. I wish 
his eyes did not look so congested — Maysie's & Charlie's eyes 
do the same — if Dr. Burd happens to call while Harry is there 
I wish you would get him just to look at them and give him 
a few hints how best to humour them. With me congested 
eyes always mean more or less brain fag. I know that there 
are people whose eyes are always like that and it does not 
seem to matter much, but, as I said, if Dr. Burd puts in an 
appearance I think I would ask him to look at them. 

I am very glad my father seems to have enjoyed his outing, 
at the same time I am sure he will be very glad to find him- 
self at home again. He does not like late dinners, & the strain 
of visiting in other people's houses is always more or less 
fatiguing, so I shall not be surprised to hear that he has re- 
turned tomorrow, painters or no painters. Besides the Langar 
neighbourhood cannot but reawaken old associations that hav- 
ing now long been dormant cannot be revived without some- 
thing near akin to pain — so I shall be glad when he is back 
& shall wish him fine weather for his Wales outing. I think 
the summer seems likely to be a fine & hot one. I hope it will 
for political reasons if for none other — a few good harvests 
would make things much easier for the new government. 

I am glad I did not prophesy a coalition ^ — I was a good 
deal tempted to do so — for I did think it the most sensible 
& reasonable thing under the circumstances & fully hoped 
it would have come about. I suppose Lord Hartington & 
Mr. Chamberlain hope to regain the liberal party when Mr. 
Gladstone retires, & think their having served with a Con- 
servative Government will do them harm. I think their wisest 
plan would be to throw in their lot once for all without more 

Letter 80: 

^ After the results of the general election were known, Lord Salisbury was 
asked to form a new government, but there was still the possibility (which did 
not come about) that Lord Hartington, leader of the Liberal Unionists, and 
Chamberlain, leader of the Radical Unionists, would join Gladstone in a coalition 


delay with the Conservatives, but I suppose they know their 
own business best — any how they must help us as long as 
Mr. Gladstone leads the opposition. 

Veracini was an Italian writer of the first half of the last 
century ^ — he was twice for a short time in England but did 
not prove much of a success. He was a man of unbounded 
conceit & once all but killed himself by throwing himself out 
of [a] window because some one played better than he did. 
I have heard Piatti ^ play some, or at any rate one, suite of 
his & believe I liked it at the time but have forgotten it. 

If I were you I would take my outing as soon as I could. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

8 1. "Butler to <^ay 

Text: Garnett, pp. 213-215. 

15 Clifford's Inn, 
Sunday evening 
[August, 188^] ^ 
Dear May, 

I am sorry to have let so long go by without a few lines, 
but ever since my last I have been working exceedingly hard 
and have really had no events. I did the head of little PoUie 
Morris for the Wades,^ and made it much better than the 
other. I sent it yesterday, and they seemed pleased. The other 
certainly was very bad; much worse than I thought; but I 

^Francesco Maria Veracini (1690— 1750), better known as a violinist than as a 
composer. Butler greatly underrates his success in England. 

^Alfredo Carlo Piatti (1822— 1901), a cellist who spent most of his adult life 
in London, He too was a composer, but Butler means that he heard Piatti play a 
suite by Veracini. 

Letter 81: 

^Garnett dates this letter "probably 1887" because in it Butler refers to his new 
book on "heredity and instinct." But though dated 1887, Luck or Cunning? 
appeared in November, 1886; actually, the letter seems to have been written 
before Butler left for a holiday in Italy in mid- August, 1886. 

^ The family of Anne Wade, nurse to the Butler family. 


was thoroughly played out when I did it, and indeed should 
not have done it at all at that time if I had not known how 
much Anne was looking forward to getting it. 

I have not yet written to Miss Brooke. Every bit of spare 
time I get goes to my new book on ^heredity and instinct/ 
which will be out, I hope, before Christmas, and which will, 
I hope, do great things for me; but I assure you I am worked 
hard, and even such a matter as the correspondence necessary 
in the matter of Tom's settlement ^ wears me. Do you see my 
letters to my father? If so, you could, I am sure, do me a good 
turn by making him understand exactly what the hitch is, 
which by his last letter to me he did not seem to have got 
hold of. I hope he is well and enjoying himself; certainly he 
won't have it too hot if the weather there has been what it 
is here. Where is he gone after Mentone? He has not deter- 
mined to have an adventure and gone to the seat of war,^ 
has he? 

As an example of how coincidences sometimes very nearly 
come about, but happily fail to do so entirely, let me tell you 
the following. My friend Pauli went, ten days or so ago, to 
Mt. St. Michel to see to the tombstone over his sister's grave. 
The driver of the diligence attempted the road across the 
sands before the tide was sufficiently down, and there was 
evidently great danger. Suddenly he remembered that it was 
the anniversary of his sister's death (she was drowned by the 
tide on those very sands) . For the first time in his life he felt 
superstitious, but sat still, when fortunately all the other pas- 
sengers rose against the driver and by main force made him 
put back. 

I heard a funny thing to-day. A man told me at St. Albans, 
where I have been for the day, that one of the English Queens 

^ In his will (of which Butler was an executor), Tom tried to settle "what 
money he could on his children's quondam governess, and away from his own 
family" (MS Notebooks, II, 176, May, 1886). Butler was trying to frustrate 
this settlement. 

* The Treaty of Bucharest in March, 1886, brought only nominal peace to 
the Balkans, and during the summer of 1886 England watched with great interest 
a series of events that threatened war. 


lived there, but he said that at the moment he could not 
remember whether it was Boadicea or Anne of Bolaine ^- 
Bow Lane, as he pronounced it — he could not remember. 

Your affectionate brother, 

S. Butler. 

82. Sutler to ^May 

Text'. British Museum MS. 


Ticino, Swiss 
Sep. 9, 188^. 
Dear May, 

Thank you for your postcard of the 4th with good accounts 
of you all; I sent my father some Edelweiss on Monday, but 
having unfortunately posted the post card without addressing 
it it was returned to me & only went next day. Mrs. Danvers ^ 
& her son have been here since Sunday — they go on today, & 
I stay here two days longer going on to Bellinzona on Satur- 
day evening. Please address "Hotel Bellinzona, Bellinzona, 
Switzerland." I am quite well and am enjoying my outing 
very much. The Danvers's were quite good and did not bore 
me more than it is desireable that I shd. be bored from time 
to time. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler 

^ The man, a "barman" in MS Notebooks, I, 216, confuses Boadicea, who 
sacked St. Albans during a revolt against the Romans, and Anne Boleyn, who 
lived I, J 00 years later and had no connection with the town. 

Letter 82: 

^See note 2 for Letter 59. 


83. Sutler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Hotel Bellinzona 
Bellinzona [Switzerland] 
Sep. 13 [188^] 
Address to: Hotel Riposo 
Sacro Monte, Varese 
Lombardia, Italy — 
Dear May — 

Thank you for your post card wh: came this morning. 
Please also thank my father for his letter of two days earlier — 
glad the Edelweiss came all right — I left Faido yesterday. The 
Bishop of Chichester ^ and one of the Prebends were at Faido 
on Saturday & Sunday and were very civil to me. I was for- 
tunate enough to say something which pleased the Bishop 
very much, but it is too long to report: I put them on to the 
Woodsias & Alternifoliums, and altogether it was rather a 
success. I am finishing an old study here, and on Wed. after- 
noon go on to Varese where I shall finish two more studies. 
Jones will join me there, & I shall then turn homewards. I 
quite surpassed myself in painting at Faido — expected to get 
on swimmingly here, but can not hit it off. Glad my father is 
so well — \la%t jew words and signature illegible] 

84. ^May to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Oct. I, 188^ 
My dearest Sam 

You will like to hear that we had a lovely still warm after- 
noon yesterday, and that the stone-laying went off very nicely 
and pleasantly. The Bishop gave a good address, & spoke pret- 

Letter S3: 

* Richard Durnford (i 802-189 j). 


tily to Papa afterwards, & he was very well and did not cough 
at all. The building committee gave him a very pretty trowel 
— with his name &c. engraved. Today he has gone to Harnage. 
It came on to rain soon after he started, and I hope he will 
not be the worse.^ 

Harrie is just starting back on her way to Ventnor, where 
she left all the Glover party.^ She had not intended coming 
back so soon as this, only could not resist the stone laying. 

I am very glad that the outing has done you good, & almost 
sorry to think of you in London again. I do hope you did not 
find the poor old woman very bad! ^ I'm afraid no one will 
have tried during your absence to get her into the workhouse. 
Etta says she would go directly & willingly if you promised to 
see that she "had a funeral.** 

I suppose you will soon see their house. I shall like to hear 
your impressions of it all — 

Did I tell you that Mr. Moss * was going to be married. 
Mr. G. Hall ^ says he is very proud of himself, & cracks little 
jokes, & comes out in quite a new phase. 

Bessie Bather's operation is over, in Edinburgh, & the ac- 
counts so far are very good. The doctors hope for a very 
complete & successful recovery, but she must be there some 
weeks. Edward Bather was married yesterday. 

Our love, dear Sam — I wish you could have spirited me to 
Chiavenna. It is a place I dearly love. 

Your very affectionate sister 

Letter 84: 

^ In a note on this letter, Butler says that he cannot remember whether this was 
the visit to Harnage that brought on his father's fatal illness, but he recalls Rogers, 
the butler, telling him that his father returned from Harnage one day, wet 
through and reluctant to part with his wet clothes. 

^The family of Frances Caroline Glover. (See note 2 for Letter 24.) 

^ Mrs. Doncaster, Butler's laundress. 

* Henry Whitehead Moss (1841-1917), headmaster of Shrewsbury School; he 
married Frances Beaufort on January 6, 1887. 

^George Thomas Hall (1843-193 1), senior assistant master at Shrewsbury 


8^. "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, II, 40-41. 

15 Clifford's Inn 
E. C. 

Oct. 2, 188^. 
Dear May- 
Thank you for your's received this morning. I am so glad 
you had a fine afternoon for your foundation laying — and 
that the bishop was nice. I think bishops generally are rather 
nice. I know I am terribly afraid of (anything under) an 
archdeacon, or I may say of a Dean, but am generally set 
quite at my ease by a bishop — when I have anything to do 
with one — which is not very often. 

I stuck to my plan; spent Tuesday & Wednesday copying 
Holbein in Basle ^ and leaving Wednesday night got here on 
Thursday evening. I found my kittens well and strong but 
as wild as little tigers, through not having been habitually 
caressed. They spat and swore and altogether behaved abom- 
inable — now, though only 48 hours have gone by, they are 
quite tame and very pretty. 

I had a scare at Basle about my theory concerning the 
Holbein drawing I have been working at. My theory was 
blown to atoms in a way which seemed to leave no doubt 
whatever that I was mistaken ^ — I was very meek — gave it 
all up and went immediately on the other tack — ere long 
however I had the pleasure of finding the evidence in favour 
of which I had retreated, break down hopelessly, and was able 

Letter 85: 

^ A drawing, "La Danse des Paysans," which Butler maintained was by Holbein, 
in a letter to the Academy, 30 (October 23, 1886), 282-283. 

^ Butler's case for this drawing as an original Holbein rested largely on some 
faint marks in one corner. When he returned to Basel on this occasion the marks 
which he had seen earlier were gone. He contended that the directors of the 
Museum had obliterated them to disprove his theory. The fullest account of his 
position is his article, "L'AfFaire Holbein-Rippel," Universal Review, 5 (Novem- 
ber, 1889), 377—^92, reprinted in Shrewsbury Edition, XIX, 173—192. Recent 
scholars consider the drawing a copy of Holbein by Nikolaus Rippel (1563— 
1631). See Heinrich Alfred Schmid, Hans Holbein der Jungere, II (Basel: Holbein- 
Verlag, 1948), 348-349- 


to get important confirmation of my original opinion which 
I am now convinced was right — I shall write about it to the 

I am to lecture at the Working Men's College in December 
on the principles underlying the subdivision of the organic 
world into animal and vegetable.^ I do not like it, but it is 
good for me to learn the use of my tongue. I shall do as I did 
before & speak my lecture not read it. 

I am much better, but have never been free of my book 
which is now nearly printed. I have still to write the last 
chapter — some fourteen or fifteen pages — this I hope to do 
next week, and then nothing remains but the index. I shall 
be very glad when it is done — and shall be curious to see what 
kind of reception it meets with * — nothing, we may be sure, 
very startling — still I make no doubt that my position is 
greatly stronger than it was. I hope my father will take no 
hurt from the shower and am 

Yr. aflfte. brother 
S. Butler- 
s'. "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

E. C. 

Oct. 10, 188^ 

Dear May 

I meant to have written yesterday, but the post slipped by 

and I was very busy finishing my last chapter which I have 

^The lecture was postponed and given March 19, 1887. It is reprinted in 
Shrewsbury Edition, XVIII, 23y-2j6. 

* The reviews of huck or Cunning} generally regretted its contentious tone 
but found it a clearly stated argument for Butler's position on evolution. In a 
spirited review {Vail Mall Gazette, May 31, 1887, p. 5), George Bernard Shaw 
applauded the book because it set out after Darwin (one of the "graven images" 
the English tend to set up) so directly; regardless of the validity of Butler's 
science, Shaw approved of his "skilfull terseness and exactness of expression, his 
frank disdain of affected suavity or imperturbability, his apparently but not really 
paradoxical humour, his racy epigrams, and the geniality of his protest against 
'a purely automatic conception of the universe as of something that will work 
if a penny be dropped into the box.' " 


now despatched. I am pleased to see that Trubner's people 
place my book first in their circular of autumn announce- 
ments, and in their advertisements, which means that they 
consider it their most important book; of course I have noth- 
ing to do with this, but it is another of the many little in- 
dicators which show me that my position is getting stronger — 
no doubt in great measure through the Athenaeum support 
given me two years ago.^ I have sent the Athenaeum a letter ^ 
of about the same length as the one I sent in the spring, about 
a drawing of Holbein's hitherto said to be a copy but which 
I have I believe, conclusively shown to be an original. I have 
shown that the painter to whom it is ascribed in the Basle 
catalogue was not born till many years after the work he is 
supposed to have copied had been destroyed, and from internal 
evidence of paper, and collateral evidence of a photograph 
from Holbein's original sketch have made a very good case. 
The editor has promised me that the letter shall appear next 
Friday so I suppose it will. The Basle people gave me their only 
copy of the photograph on which my case mainly rests and 
said they would get another for themselves, but they did not 
like having it shown to them that their ascription was an im- 
possible one. The drawing was bequeathed to them with the 
ascription it now bears and it never occurred to them to go 
into dates, and worry the thing out. Holbein is a man who is 
supposed to have been so exhaustively studied, that it is no 
small thing to get him another and very important work; 
indeed I am more pleased with this discovery and with giving 
the Bellini back their portraits ^ than with anything I have 
ever done. I only hope I shall not get jumped upon in a way 
I do not expect now, but Gogin ^ and other competent judges 
entertain no doubt that I am right. 

I have sent away one of my kittens and shall not be al- 

Letter 86: 

^See Letters 52 and 55. 

^The Athenaeum questioned Butler's letter about the Holbein drawing, and he 
quickly withdrew it and sent it to the Academy, where it appeared on October 
23, 1886 (pp. 282-283). (See Letter 87.) For an account of his letter on the 
Bellini, which had appeared on February 2, see Letter 72. 

^ See note i for Letter 72. 

* Charles Gogin. (See Biographical Sketches.) 


together sorry to dismiss the other, lovely little beast though 
she is — she is arriving at a noisy mischievous age and is some- 
what disturbing. 

I am extremely glad to hear that Mrs. Bather is doing 
well, but I am afraid she must be very much shaken and 
broken down with such a long course of pain and shock as 
she has lately suffered — I am very sorry for her. I am very 
glad my father keeps so well and make no doubt that when 
the colder weather comes he will keep closer at home. I am 
sure that every effort will be made to induce him to do so. 
I have not been able to get to Narcissus yet, and dare say it 
will be some days before I can manage to do so, but I shall 
as soon as ever I can — Jones comes back this day week — 
Believe me yr. affte. brother 

Butler — 

87. "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Oct. 19, 188^ 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's received yesterday morning — very 
glad to have good accounts of my father and hope Harriets 
cold will not be serious. The Athenaeum set up my letter, sent 
me proof & the understanding (clearly was) was perfectly 
clear that it was to appear on Friday — Friday came, but no 
letter, so on Monday I sent and found that the Athenaeum art 
critic had got hold of Maccoll,^ the editor, and frightened 
him, calling the Basle drawing "rubbish," and utterly pooh- 
poohing my theory: I told Maccoll that there was nothing in 
it, but he naturally preferred to stick to his own man — & I 
therefore pointed out to him that I must take my letter to 

Letter 87: 

^Norman Maccoll (i 843-1904). 


the Academy if he would not publish it. This he evidently did 
not like, but I had no alternative, and, therefore, without 
offence, & with many expressions of regret on both sides I 
took my letter away. The Academy have promised me faith- 
fully that it shall appear on Friday, but whether it will or no 
I cannot of course say — I told them it had been to the Athe- 
naeum and that the Athenaeum art critic had said [it] was 
all wrong — at any rate we shall see whether they keep to their 
promise; if they do I am preparing my supports — and will 
see at any rate that the matter is thrashed out — I do not much 
care whether the drawing is by Holbein or no; but I care a 
good deal about finding out which way competent opinion 
most inclines. 

I am very busy, but also close upon the very end of my 
work: still Just now I am hard pushed & this Holbein letter 
has taken some time also. I see the Darwins' book ^ is not to 
be out till the end of the year; they are probably waiting to see 
whether I give them an opportunity. I dare say I shall have 
given them a good many — perhaps they also may give me one. 
By the way I hear it semi -officially that Uncle John died with 
£30,000, Uncle Philip getting the largest share, then Uncle 
Sam & then Aunt Sarah,^ but Reggie, who told me, did not 
know the proportions. This tallies with what Phil gave me to 
understand in the spring. With all best wishes to you all be- 
lieve me yr. affte. brother 

S— Butler 

^ The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin. Butler suspected 
that Francis Darwin was waiting to see what Luck or Cunning? (published in 
November, 1886) contained, but when Darwin's book appeared in 1887 it did 
not mention Luck or Cunning? and contained only a brief, restrained account of 
Butler's reaction to Erasmus Darwin (III, 220). 

^Butler himself received £25, though in the spring he had thought he might 
inherit as much as £75 (letter in the British Museum dated May 4, 1886). 


88, <may to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Oct. 30, 188^. 
Dearest Sam 

We meant to have sent you a line by last night's post, but 
you will get this this evening, I hope. 

Papa is quite convalescent again, & came down to breakfast 
this morning — he will not get out just yet, but we are having 
an All Saints' little summer — so all things are in his favour. 
Harrie does not throw off her cold so well, and does not seem 
very well altogether, but she is up & about, & will I hope get 
stronger when she gets out. I uphold the credit of the family 
at present — 

The old church has nearly disappeared. All but the tower 
which looks horridly unsafe, & as if it might come down with 
a rush. On Wednesday we are going to have a Bottesini con- 
cert ^ — but somehow I don't feel impelled to go & hear him. 
People say he is very wonderful, but his picture was sent 
round with the programmes, and that didn't seem like a first 
rate advertisement. 

I see Mr. Romanes has been writing a new book.^ There 
was a long review of it in this week's Guardian ^ — fairly fa- 

With our love, I am dear Sam, your very affectionate sister 


Letter 88: 

^Giovanni Bottesini (i 821-18 89), a singer, at this time on a concert tour of 

^ Romanes began to sum up his position on evolution with respect to Darwin's 
in an article, "Physiological Selection," in the Journal of the Linnean Society 
(July, 1886). 

^ A very long review of Romanes' article appeared in the Guardian (October 
27, 1886), pp. 1603— 1604; the reviewer attempted to evaluate Romanes' con- 
tribution to evolutionary theory. 


89' "Butler to <^ay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn, E. C. 
Nov. 4, 188^. 
Dear May 

Thank you for your note and Harrie for hers with stamp 
edgings which are very acceptable — that will be enough for 
some time. Neither of your notes ought to make me at all 
uneasy about my father, and I do not suppose there is any 
serious mischief; still, I cannot help fearing that he has had 
a rather sharp attack, & that he is hardly rallying as rapidly 
as usual. Has there been any return of that paraplegic mis- 
chief of a few years ago? Reggie Worsley, & Jones and I mean 
going to Guildford or Godalming ^ or somewhere close by for 
Saturday and Sunday leaving Saturday forenoon and return- 
ing Monday evening — let me therefore have a line on Saturday 
morning before I go. 

I am to dine with Sir Julius & Lady Von Haast ^ next week 
one evening, but have no other dissipation on hand. I have 
been up to Etta's this morning and have got promise of assis- 
tance from them in the matter of copying Narcissus, or rather 
of inking my pencil score. This will be a very great help to 
me and we shall get along much faster. We are making plans 
for a performance of the whole work on the 27th of May 
next,^ and this, so far as we can look ahead for such a con- 
siderable time, will probably come off — but it will be all we 
can do to get the chorus singers drilled, and the whole thing 
sufficiently rehearsed in time: nevertheless it will probably be 
done, and it is something to have even fixed a date. If by the 
end of February we find we cannot manage this it must stand 

Letter 89: 

^ Towns just outside of London. 

^John Francis Julius von Haast (1824-1887), German-born geologist who did 
extensive exploratory work in New Zealand during the time Butler was there. 

^ Parts of Narcissus were performed at Shrewsbury School on June 24, 1887, 
but the whole work was never performed. 


over till the following winter or spring, but I expect it will 
get done — 

Mrs. Tylor has sent me Mr. Tylor's book ^ — it is beautifully 
got up and they have done their best to run me & my books. 
Dr. Dudgeon ^ has got Luck or Cunning, & declares himself 
delighted with it so far. The Athenaeum also has it, but no one 
else yet. Dr. Dudgeon will tell me if there is any gross blunder 
from a scientific standpoint, and if there is anything to neces- 
sitate it I must have an erratum pasted in, but I do not think 
it likely that I shall have to do this — 

Professor Conway ^ (the Liverpool man) has written a line 
of thanks for the photographs, but did not say a word as to 
whether he agreed or disagreed — he will probably do this when 
he returns them ^ — but I am fortified by too many confirma- 
tory opinions to be disturbed if he differs — which, however I 
do not think he will. I shall await tomorrow's Academy ^ with 
interest. I am getting up a card with the two photos reduced 
and mounted on it above a few paragraphs of explanation. I 
shall thus, probably, get the matter settled one way or the 
other. I hope Harrie is better, and yourself keeping fairly 
well — and that I shall have a comfortable account of my 
father on Saturday morning — Yr. affte. brother — 


^Colouration in Animals and Plants, published posthumously in 1886. Tylor 
writes that Butler's theory of inherited memory "smoothed away the whole of 
the difficulties we had experienced, and enabled us to propound the views here 
set forth with greater clearness" (p. 9). 

^Robert Ellis Dudgeon (1820— 1904), homeopathist, Butler's doctor. 

^William Martin Conway (1856-1937), professor of art at University College, 
Liverpool. He wrote to Butler on October 23, 1886, in response to his letters in 
the Academy about the Holbein drawings, and asked if Butler had photographs 
of the drawings (British Museum). 

^ In a personal letter to Butler dated December 12, 1886, Conway said that 
it seemed to him that the Basel drawing was an original; but in opposition to 
Butler, he thought that a similar drawing in Berlin was only a copy (British 
Museum) . 

^ Nothing relevant to Butler appeared. 


^o. 'Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's InnE. C 
Nov. 9, 188^ 
Dear May 

Thank you for your letter received Saturday morning & 
for your post card of this morning. I am very glad my father 
is so much better. Could he give me a bed for a few nights 
next week if I should want it? I have written to Mr. Moss ^ 
asking him whether he would play a piece or two from Nar- 
cissus at his next school concert; (he said he would in the 
summer) and if he assents to this I said I would at once come 
down, bring the score, see his musical instructor, and see what 
modifications would be necessary to adapt the pieces to his 
orchestra. He may have already settled his (orchestra) pro- 
gramme, & in this case I would not come down for a fortnight, 
but if he assents I should like to come next week. 

I am to have copies of my book tomorrow. I got Dr. Dudg- 
eon to read it while there was yet a little locus pcenitentia[e] : 
he found four small mistakes — very small — ^which I have 
made into errata^ and thus corrected, but declared himself 
quite satisfied with the scientific part. It will take me some 
time to fully recover from this book, but it is done and is not 
more than a week later than the date I had fixed for it to 
appear. Any time before Nov. 1 5 is all right. Very glad Harrie 
is better 

Yr affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

Letter 90: 

^ Henry Moss, headmaster of Shrewsbury School. (See note 4 for Letter 84.) 


9 1 . (tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Nov. lo. [i88^] 
Dearest Sam 

We shall all be pleased to see you whether you come next 
week, or whenever you like. I think from your note that you 
are probably under an idea that there is a School concert in 
the winter. It is only at midsummer, but I hope you will come 
down shortly all the same. 

Papa keeps well; he twisted his heel a little bit afresh, so 
is not tempted to go out in this very damp weather, but he 
is using hot vinegar & salt which does it good. 

I heard this morning from Alice Hall,^ who says the Duke 
has given £500 for Granby ^ — & they hope to have it opened 
in the spring. 

Sarah Heatly is just dead. You will remember her — 

I hope you remember to congratulate Mr. Moss.^ He likes 
congratulations very much, I believe. The wedding is to be 
at Christmas. 

We shall like to see any (criticisms) reviews on your book — 
I am glad you have done with the hard work of it. 

Your very affectionate sister 

Letter 91: 

^ See note 3 for Letter 4. 

^ All Saints' Church, Granby, Nottinghamshire, was extensively restored at a 
cost of £1200 and reopened in 1888; it was in the patronage of the Duke of 

^In his letter to Moss, dated November 9, 1886, Butler did not congratulate him 
on his forthcoming marriage but dealt only with the performance of Narcissus 
which he proposed be given at Shrewsbury School (British Museum MS). 


^2. <iMay to "Sutler 

Text: British Museum MS. 


Postmark: Shrewsbury No. 30, 86; address: S. Butler Esq. / 15, Clifford's Inn/ 

London / E. C. 

Dr. Burd says it is nothing serious, only internal disarrange- 
ment and faintness — He has bruised himself badly, & grazed 
one arm a good deal, but is very bright, and Dr. Burd says 
it was certainly nothing of the nature of seizure or paralysis. 

He is to sleep in the spare room tonight & have Rogers,^ 
but only as a precaution — 

He is really quite bright & fairly well, only of course tired 
& shaken. 

M. B. 

53. "Butler to <iMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Nov. 30, 1886. 
Dear May 

I thought of you all & of my father more especially on 
Sunday,-*^ and was very glad to hear from Harrie yesterday 
what I take to be a better account, but between ourselves I 
could make very little out of what she said. She said "Dr. 
Burd does not think very gravely about my father's foot," & 
this may mean either that he thinks gravely about it though 
not by any means despairingly, or that he thinks it a matter 
of very little importance. Moreover then she infers that I am 
not to expect to hear unless the foot "gets seriously worse." I 
hope that one or other of you will find time to send me a line 

Letter 92: 

^ Rogers succeeded Hodgkinson as butler at Wilderhope House. 

Letter 93; 

^Sunday, November 28, 1886, was Canon Butler's eightieth birthday. 


to say how my father is going on at not infrequent intervals 
until he is out of this present mess — which, happily, I fully 
believe will not be long. 

He seems (a little) low about himself — as he drove up with 
me to the station, but taking him all around & judging by 
his little ways I should say he has a considerable reserve of 
strength still remaining & if he is careful may get through 
the winter a good deal better than he appeared, from what he 
said to me, to expect. I therefore am not seriously uneasy 
about him — but shall be glad to hear, if even by post card — 
how he is going on — & especially whether his appetite is im- 
proving. If I was his doctor I should insist on his taking more 

I don't think anything of a little swelling in the left foot, 
& think you will find the other probably right itself shortly, 
but until it has taken a decided turn for the better more or 
less uneasiness is inevitable. 

Did I leave behind me a small common ivory paper knife 
about 9 or lo inches long by an inch wide? If I did, kindly 
wrap it up and send it by post. 

Believe me yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

54. Sutler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Dec. I, 1886 
Dear May 

I am glad to gather from your post card that my father's 
illness is less serious than both the matter & manner of Harrie's 
letter had led me to suppose. At his age, however, severe 
bruises & grazes, and the shock from falls, cannot but be 
serious, especially seeing that he is still below par; Dr. Burd 


of course, & rightly, minimises the mischief, & I am especially 
glad to learn that there are no paralytic symptoms; still an 
internal derangement which makes an infirm old man of 80 
lose consciousness, & fall down is hardly less serious than 
paralysis itself, and until I hear of my father's being up & 
about again it is impossible that I should not be more or less 
uneasy. In the meantime I rejoice to think that he is going on 
favourably — pray tell him so from me. 

I am afraid both you & Harrie must be very much upset 
by what has happened, but fear that there is nothing I can 
do to make matters easier for either of you. Believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

5 5 . <tMay to "Antler 

Text: British Museum MS. 


[Morning,] Dec. i. [188^] 
Dearest Sam 

We are always so anxious to tell you the truth about my 
father as far as we know it, that I think Harrie's letter must 
have made you more doubtful about his foot than she at all 
intended. Dr. Burd was not at all uneasy about it — & tho' we 
have not seen it yesterday or today — on Sunday & Monday the 
swelling was very much gone, & it is really suflSciently well to 
be dismissed as any cause of anxiety. I think Harrie, like your- 
self, had been more uneasy about it than I — ^who had seen it 
when even more swollen. He did not have a very good night — 
because he cannot lie comfortably except on his back — his 
bruised side & grazed arm are in the way but he is what peo- 
ple call "well in himself" & bright — & though at his age one 
is sorry for the bruises &c — & they may be slow in getting 
quite right — everything is getting quite right, & he is going 
to get up & sit up. Rogers will be in his room for a night or 


two. You shall hear daily till he is quite out of the wood. In- 
deed he is scarcely in a wood! 

Nothing known of your paper knife 

Your very affect, sister 


His appetite does not improve much, but one could hardly 
look for that just now. 

^6, (tMay to Sutler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

[Evening,] Dec. i, 1886 
Dearest Sam 

My father has not seemed quite so bright since he was up 
as he did when I wrote this morning, — though we think he is 
better this evening than this morning, and he has just an- 
nounced that he thinks he will be better tomorrow. He has 
been sitting up in his dressing gown in the arm chair most of 
the day. His arm is going on quite nicely — & shows no sign 
of doing anything but heal[ing] rapidly & well. The worst 
trouble is his side, (the other bruises are all quite unimpor- 
tant) but that has bruised the pleura to some extent. Dr. Burd 
says, & caused a little congestion or inflammation there, and he 
is to have a strong plaster (of the diachylon nature) put over 
the side & a broad bandage, which Dr. Burd thinks will make 
it much easier. It is not very bad because when amused with 
his story book he can cough rather badly without taking any 
notice of it. If he is not amused, he grunts if he coughs 
much — 

I think he feels the general shake more today than yester- 
day but that is not unnatural. 

Dr. Burd did not speak as if uneasy about him, though he 
did not think him quite so well. But for his age I should not 
be uneasy at all, and my own feeling & hope is that he will 


be decidedly better in a day or two. He is eating very little — 
but there is still a little stomach derangement to make that 
diflScult, but he is taking his rice &c — & tonight I think Dr. 
Burd is going to give him something to help his sleep. A real 
good night would do more than anything. I think Harrie 
thinks a little more gravely of his side than I do. — ^The thing 
I am most sorry for was the original faint — more than the 
hurts, & yet that was not unnatural between the shock of his 
first fall, & something disagreeing. 

He must not be made nervous about himself, so will you 
either send him a little line enclosed, or such a letter as we 
might read to him — 

With much love your very affectionate sister 


Of course we would tell you at once if there occured [^/V] 
the least right reason for your coming. 

^7. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
E. C 

Dec. 2, 1886 
Dear May 

I have taken your hint & sent my father a few lines direct, 
which you will doubtless see, but there is nothing in them. 
Anxious of course we must all of us be; any illness is serious 
when a man is over 80. I am very much afraid my father's 
first idea was right — & that he has fractured a rib. Mine four 
years ago had been fractured a fortnight before I knew that 
it was so — and there being any congestion in the pleura sug- 
gests that the rib must have had a very heavy blow. If so I 
am afraid he will suffer not a little discomfort for about a 
month from the time of the injury — 

I am afraid you & Harrie will be very much tired by the 


events of the last few days, being neither of you too well or 
strong — of course if there is anything I can do you will at 
once let me know. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— ^ 

98. <^ay to Sutler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

[December 4, 1886] 
Dearest Sam 

If you come, don't go to the George ^ before coming down 
here. My father is better today — & we think to tell him you 
are here. The kindness & attention would please him we think, 
but we wait first to see that you do come. 

We can quite well take you in here — & the servants never, 
as you know, think you anything of a trouble, but a pleasure. 

Yr. very aff . sister 
May— 2 

9^. <iMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Wilderhope, Tuesday morning. 

Dec. 7, 1886 
Dearest Sam 

I think my father quite keeps the ground he was gaining 
when you left. Yesterday he wrote a letter or two, settled 

Letter ^j: 

^ In a note on this letter, Butler says that May sent him a letter on December 2, 
reporting: "My father seems really much better this morning, slept well all night 
(with help [i.e., an opiate]) ate his breakfast nicely this morning, & is merry." 

Letter 98: 

*^ An inn in Shrewsbury. 

^ Butler noted on this letter that he arrived at the George late on December 4 
and was asked to go to his father at once. 


accounts, saw Mary Lloyd/ and Mrs. Fletcher ^ & Dr. Burd, 
and seemed pretty bright all day tho* tired at night. He had 
a good night & is now getting up. His cough is more trouble- 
some but he is now taking no opiate, and he must feel these 
rapid changes of temperature. Now it is only just over freez- 
ing with scads of snow & cold rain. Appetite much the same — 
Dr. Burd thought him certainly rather stronger yesterday — 
& the arm going on quite right. 

His cat has a cold, so they must not be companions at 

With our love, dear Sam. I am glad you came & have seen 
him for yourself — 

Your very affectionate sister 

TOO. Sutler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's InnE. C 
Dec. 8, 188^. 
Dear May 

Thank you for your letter received last night & post card 
this morning. I am very glad my father is so much better, and 
hope that he has now sufficiently turned the corner to warrant 
the expectation that he will be ere long down stairs again — 
but an invalid he must I am afraid, at best, remain, at any 
rate until the summer. 

Please tell Harrie I have looked everywhere for her letter 
& cannot find it so suppose I must have burnt it as I have 
been doing with a good many letters lately. I had a perfectly 
eventless journey down and have not a shred of news that I 
can think of — I am very glad I went down when I did. 

Letter 99: 

^ Canon Butler's niece, daughter of his sister Harriet. 

^Probably Agnes Crawfurd Fletcher (d. 1922), wife of "William Henry- 
Fletcher, vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Shrewsbury. 


We had a severe hail storm this morning with violent wind, 
& it looks as if it was going to be colder this evening — 

Pray give kindest messages from me to my father & be- 
lieve me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

I or. <iMay to 'Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Wednesday morning 
Dec. 8, i88^. 
Dearest Sam 

My father still continues much better. The change in him 
yesterday was most marked — ^he is gaining strength very de- 
cidedly — & we no longer feel afraid of leaving him alone a 
little. I think he eats rather better too. We shall not write 
again tonight — unless some very unlooked for change takes 
place. But he quite seems now going on steadily toward a real 

Yr. very affectionate sister 

1 02. ^May to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Saturday morning 
Dec. II, 1886 
Dearest Sam 

My father still continues to improve. He does not come 
down stairs yet, but is very bright, & eats very much better, 
sleeps well, does not cough much — has no attempt at [sic] 
faintness — & though weak, is very fairly well, & Dr. Burd 


is satisfied even with his arm, which is still inflamed & hot. 
Vaseline is said to produce that in people whose skin it does 
not suit, & you know he almost always has trouble with any 
break of skin, but Dr. Burd thinks nothing of it, & it is now 
being treated with zinc ointment which he likes. He is going 
on so well, that we shall not write till Monday without special 

We are well, & I played at a temperance concert last night. 
What did you do about your working men? ^ 

Your very affectionate sister 


10), "Butler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C 
Dec. 12, 188^ 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's received yesterday evening. I am 
very sorry to gather from it that my father's arm has been 
troublesome, but your account is on the whole so good that 
it is impossible not to hope that he will now come nicely 
round. I am especially glad to hear that he has been eating 
better — with this and some good nights' rests he is sure to gain 
in strength. I am glad he has not yet come down, for I am 
sure he is better kept as quiet as possible. I know that what- 
ever can be done is being done, and am glad to think there 
seems so fair a prospect of its being attended with a good 
result. Please tell him from me how glad I am that he is 

They have put off my lecture till March. I told them I had 
gone to Shrewsbury & was very uncertain of any movements, 
but left it to them either to take the chance of my being able 

Letter 102: 

^Butler's lecture at the "Working Men's College, scheduled for December 11, 
1886, was postponed till March. (See note 3 for Letter 85.) 


to lecture, on yesterday, or to put me off at once & they chose 
the latter — 

Tomorrow evening I am to dine at Mrs. Danvers's — in a 
quiet way, but have no other engagements. 

No reviews as yet. I called on the editor of the Athenaeum 
on Thursday about my Holbein card,^ and saw he had put 
Luck or Cunning with three or four other books prominently 
on his table so that any one who came in must see it; this is 
doing me a good turn in a quiet way, & I am perfectly sure 
he will do whatever he can, but I have no idea when the re- 
view will appear & was careful not to allude to the book at all. 
I should not be at all surprised if his review is more or less 
condemnatory ^ — he may think it advisable not to commit the 
Athenaeum too decidedly to an anti-Darwinian line in view 
of the great preponderance of Darwinians among his readers, 
but however much his reviewer may attack me, I am satisfied 
that I have few better allies in a quiet way than MaccoU ^ 
— ^nor do I doubt that he will time his review whenever it 
appears in consequence of considerations which if I knew 
what they were I should see to be no less friendly to myself 
than reasonable from his own point of view. At the same time 
I shd not be in the least surprised if the review was a severe 

As for other papers — I imagine the reviewers hardly know 
what to say. At any rate it is better for me that people should 
have had time to read it & form an opinion about [it] before 
the reviews come out. 

I am glad to hear of your being well enough to play, and 
hope that both you & Harrie are beginning to recover from 

Letter lO}: 

'^Butler, as he mentioned in Letter 89, had had a card printed with photographs 
of the drawings to prove his point that they were by Holbein. 

^ The review of Luck or Cunning? in the Athenaeum (January 22, 1887), 
pp. 1 31-13 2, makes the point that Butler's valuable insistence upon the contribu- 
tion of earlier theorists to the study of evolution has gained widespread acceptance, 
though his own theory of evolution has not. The anonymous reviewer is most 
respectful, but regrets Butler's excessive contentiousness — "a mind of considerable 
power frittered away in ephemeral conflicts." 

^ Norman MaccoU, editor of the Athenaeum. (See Letter 87.) 


the inevitable & heavy anxiety of the last fortnight. Be- 
lieve me 

Yr. aifte. brother 
S. Butler— 

104. <s^ay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Monday morning 
Dec. 13. [1886] 
Dearest Sam 

, We did not think my father quite so bright yesterday, 
though he did not seem to feel it himself, and Dr. Burd & Mr. 
Rope ^ (who came yesterday in Dr. Burd's place) both seem 
satisfied. He is certainly eating better & with more real ap- 
petite, but the greatest trouble just now is his arm, which is 
all covered with irritable exema rash. The doctors do not seem 
to mind it — & I have a feeling that it may act as a sort of 
safety valve, but it is wearing to him, & at present keeps in- 
creasing in spite of all the ointments. He is bright this morn- 
ing — and I have just left him sitting in the work room — fully 
dressed except that he has dressing gown instead of coat, with 
his cat on his knee. Yesterday he seemed rather more drowsy 
& tired, but on the whole he is very much improved in general 
condition — & helps himself to little biscuits &c between times 
as if he rather liked them. I have a scrap of a cold & am keep- 
ing in. Harrie is well, & people are very kind in coming to see 
him & inquire. 

With our love, I am your very affectionate sister 


He sleeps well — with, & without, opiate — & does not cough 

Letter 104: 

^ H. J. Rope, medical officer at Shrewsbury School. 


lo^. <tMay to 'Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Dec. i6, 1886. 
Dearest Sam 

We have Maysie! ^ — we telegraphed for her yesterday, as 
both Harrie & I are nursing colds, & were a little afraid of 
being too much in my father's room lest we should give them 
to him. They are tiresome — but not very bad — & neither of 
us are keeping entirely in bed — tho' not up to breakfast. 

Papa himself goes on capitally in the main — though he 
varies a little from day to day. From Friday to Monday we 
did not think him quite so strong, but it was chiefly I think 
the irritation of the arm that fretted him. Dr. Burd expressed 
himself perfectly contented about that yesterday, and said 
that his tongue was clean & good — better than for many 
weeks — & his appetite is now very fair. He asks for pea soup 
& carrots — very bad for him! but he is to have them. 

The difficulty of writing is not at all the trouhle, & cer- 
tainly you shall have a daily report at present but it is that 
the report of a day or two together gives really so much truer 
an idea whether for better or worse than the little varying 
report of each day. I am sure you would think him very much 
better than when you were here. Of course we all feel alike 
about his age & weakness, but though Dr. Burd does not ex- 
pect him ever to be what he was, quite, I think he has no sort 
of immediate anxiety about him now, unless he caught cold, 
or some quite unexpected turn came. Lizzie wants me to put 
on a linseed poultice so goodbye, with our love 

Your very affect, sister 

Letter loy. 

^ May's niece. (See Biographical Sketches.) 


io6. <tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Wed. night. 
[December 22, 188^] 
Dearest Sam 

My father is in much the same state, but Dr. Burd says he 
has "seen him worse" & thinks it possible that he may rally 
for awhile again. He is more conscious today, but sleeping 
almost all the time. He has had a slight attack of sickness 
chiefly phlegm from the chest, which nurse thought would re- 
lieve him for a time. Dr. Burd said he would go on as long 
as he could throw ofif the phlegm; his pulse was steady. We 
have two nurses, for after telegraphing for one from St. Bar- 
tholomew's yesterday to come today we found we must have 
one last night, so sent for a temporary one from here last 
night. She does very well, but the London one is simply won- 
derful. We have put a small bed into his room where the 
wardrobe was, & he will be much more comfortable so & much 
more easily moved about. Tho' conscious in a way, he takes 
no notice & tho' he knows me, has not consciously spoken to 
me since yesterday morning. Rogers is to go quite away from 
the room tonight. He is very good & kind. 

I think my father is quite aware of his condition tho' he 
does not say much. As to your coming or otherwise please do 
just what you think yourself best. There is nothing you can 
do. He might not know you — & in no case would recognise 
I think that it was a fresh return — and we could not at present 
take you in here — on account of the nurses' — but on the 
other hand he might know you. I think Dr. Burd is quite un- 
certain as to the length or shortness of time. 

H & I are better but of course not well, but we are well 
looked after. Our love. 

Your very affte. sister 


JO/. "Sutler to <tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Dec. 23, 1886 
Dear May 

On receipt of Maysie's post card ^ last night I decided to 
go down to Shrewsbury on this morning, but your letter re- 
ceived this morning made me reconsider the matter and I put 
off going till tomorrow. 

Reggie Worsley & I shall leave Paddington at 10 tomorrow 
and on reaching Shrewsbury will go to the George (& take 
bed rooms) and get something to eat. I will then walk down to 
you & see how my father is. If he is better, we will go on to 
Ghurch Stretton ^ (either Friday or Saturday) . If not I will 
stay at Shrewsbury for a few days & my cousin can go on to 
Ghurch Stretton alone — 

As long as my father is alive it is impossible not to re- 
member the many wonderful rallies he has made at one time 
or another — but I confess to thinking this by far the most 
alarming illness he has ever had. Please thank Maysie for her 
note received last night & believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 3 

Letter 107: 

''^ Maysie's postcard dated December 22, 1886, begins: "Grandpapa has sunk so 
much since yesterday that Dr. Burd & Mr. Rope say that he cannot last more 
than two or three days" (British Museum). 

^ A town 1 3 miles from Shrewsbury. 

* Butler remained at Shrewsbury until his father died on December 29. His 
account of his father's death, which he included with these letters, reads in part: 
"My father [died] on the evening — about half past five — of "Wednesday Dec. 29, 
1886. I, and Rogers, & the nurse were alone present. I was supporting his head 
between my hands as he died — which he did without any kind of fight with 
death — but Rogers told me shortly before I was called into the room, he had 
fought hard for life. . . ." 


io8. "Butler to <LM.ay 

Text: British Museum MS. 'Extracts published: Memoir, II, 47. 

15. Clifford's Inn 
E. C 

Mar 27. 1887. 
Dear May 

I am afraid I have allowed too many days to slip by with- 
out writing, and owe a letter both to Harrie & yourself. I 
never knew time to fly so rapidly as at present: the week 
seems over before it is begun — and yet I do not see that I 
get on with what I am doing as fast as I wish. I have got 
the lecture over ^ — I believe it was a great success & Jones & 
Gogin ^ who were there were very much pleased with its re- 
ception — I, of course could not form much of an opinion for 
I read my lecture & was unable to look the people in the face 
as I did when speaking. I think I shall speak in future, but 
was afraid of over looking points & so wrote it out. I am to 
deliver it again in the Autumn ^ at another similar institution 
and shall then I think speak it — 

Mr. Hay * thinks Jones's final chorus too long & I am afraid 
it won't come off — but my introduction & Jones's march will 
probably be done; I don't think that this is quite settled, but 
it will I expect be arranged. We don't get on with Narcissus, 
but Jones leaves the Paines ^ at the end of this week and then 
things will move more rapidly. I am very much bothered with 
one part of one chorus which I am still rewriting, but when I 
have got this straight I too shall be able to move on faster. 
Jones & I went to the Philharmonic the other night & sat in 

Letter 108: 

^ "The Subdivision of the Organic World into Animal and Vegetable," the 
lecture postponed from December. (See Letter 85.) 

^Charles Gogin. (See Biographical Sketches.) 

^ Butler did not deliver this lecture again. 

* "Walter Cecil Hay, music master at Shrewsbury School, where Butler wanted 
Narcissus performed. 

^ The law firm of Thomas Paine (1822— 1908), where Jones was employed as 
managing clerk. Upon receiving his inheritance, Butler paid Jones an allowance of 
£200 a year so that he could give up this position. 


the orchestra just behind the drums to study orchestration. 
We thought the playing very good & the music most of it very 
long & dreary. 

I am much interested in your changes, and have no doubt 
you have made your rooms very nice & pretty. I do hope 
Harrie will be able soon to get out, but she must be very care- 
ful not to overdo things at first. When do you think of get- 
ting away? The weather really does seem to have taken a turn. 
No — I have no vote for the hospital for incurables. There is 
another S. Butler ^ who stands sometimes for Somersetshire or 
Dorsetshire or somewhere in that direction, & there is another 
who writes to the Times about coal supply — I am sorry not 
to be able to be of use. I shall be very glad to hear of your both 
getting an outing and am 

Yr. affte. brother 
S— Butler— 

lo^, "Butler to (tMay 

Text: British Museum MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Dec. 13. 1887. 
Dear May 

Thank you for your letter of this morning and Harrie for 
hers of a few days ago. I am more sorry than I can say for the 
worry & trouble you are having,^ but am very glad to hear 
you are in Mr. How's hands. As long as you do what he tells 
you you are all right. Every one makes mistakes but a mistake 
can be turned into a mere nine days wonder if it is not made 

^ The name S. Butler which May saw in connection with a proposed hospital 
for incurables was probably that of Spencer Perceval Butler (1828-1915), con- 
veyancing counsel to the Office of Works. 

Letter 109: 

^In a letter to Jones dated October 7, 1893, Butler wrote: "My sisters have 
been losing about £joo a piece in some labourer's dwellings company in which 
they invested 6 or 7 years ago." 


worse by after mistakes. You have gone to the leading, most 
respected adviser in Shrewsbury and even if he gives you mis- 
taken advice you can always say you did as Mr. How advised, 
and this will stop any one's mouth, for he carries much more 
weight than any one else in Shrewsbury. I won't add any more, 
but assure you that I am extremely sorry for the anxiety you 
must [be] suffering & heartily wish you well through it. 

I shall be down at Shrewsbury in a few days. I shall very 
likely have Russell Cooke ^ with me, and any way shall go to 
the George, as I shall certainly be at Shrewsbury on Sunday, 
but cannot quite fix what day I shall come. I am very busy. 
My lecture ^ comes off on Thursday, & I shall be thankful 
when it is over. I shall start for Varallo on Xmas eve — ^with 
Camera & dry plates — It is absolutely impossible for me to 
finish my book ^ without going there. I have written 200 pp 
and am purposely leaving the rest till I have been there. They 
are very much pleased with me for coming. 

The Darwins did not answer my Athenaeum letter ^ — I am 
very glad. Of course they would if they could, and they have 
at last in a new edition of ^Erasmus Darwin' corrected their 
father's misstatement ^ — so I suppose I must take this, (which 
appeared since my letter to the Athenaeum) as an amends — 
sulky & ill conditioned though it is. 

I have a lot to do and will add no more. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

^William Russell Cooke, called to the bar in 1879, Butler's solicitor. 

^ "On the Genesis of Feeling," delivered at the City of London College on 
December 15, 1887, and reprinted in Shrewsbury Edition, XVIII, 186-210. 

* Ex Voto, Butler's book about Varallo. 

^ See note 3 for Letter 76. 

^ "Mr. Darwin accidentally omitted to mention [in the first edition] that 
Dr. Krause revised, and made certain additions to, his Essay before it was trans- 
lated. Among these additions is an allusion to Mr. Butler's book, 'Evolution, Old 
and New' " (Ernst Krause, The Life of Erasmus Darwin, by Charles Darwin, 
being an introduction to an Essay on His Scientific Works, 2nd ed. [1887], p. iv). 


no, Sutler to <iMay 

Text: Chapln Library MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C. 
Nov. 12. 1888 
Dear May 

I am ashamed of myself for having let such a long time go 
by without writing but the days slip by so rapidly & I am 
working so very hard that I have failed to do what I intended 
in the way of writing — I do hope you are better & both fairly 
well — I am all right but must really do something to stop the 
high pressure at which I am going — I think I shall have to 
steal a pair of boots or a pound of cheese or some such trifling 
article just to get 14 days imprisonment, but it must be some- 
thing without hard labour. I have finished my article for the 
Universal Review.^ It will appear this week. I have written the 
overture to Ulysses which Jones says will do very well. I have 
printed, toned & fixed more than 300 prints since my return 
& mounted over 100 to send away — which have duly gone. 
Alfred says it must not occur again — & he is right — the tax on 
my protoplasm is really too severe, and they must get the local 
photographer to do them. All very fine, but I don't for a mo- 
ment suppose that I shall be let off so cheaply — they will be 
taken & there is no refusing them. I have also revised *Ex 
Voto' ^ & put in all the new matter — no light work for it has 
to be scattered all over the book. In fact I have done more 
than is good for me, & have still a lot to do before I can get 

Letter no: 

^ "A Sculptor and a Shrine," Universal Review, z (November, 1888), 317—339, 
a discussion of the artist Tabachetti (Jean de Wespin) and the sanctuary at 
Montrigone. Partially reprinted in Shrewsbury Edition, XIX, 159-169. 

^ Ex Voto was published on May 17, 1888. In preparing his article, "A Sculptor 
and a Shrine," Butler discovered additional information and some corrections which 
he wanted to incorporate. He issued a leaflet dated November 30, 1888, to be 
given to purchasers of the book, and in 1890 prepared, but did not publish, an 
extensively revised edition from which the Shrewsbury Edition of Ex Voto was 


Alfred ^ is very good & very useful. News I have none — I 
have dined at the Beales once & at Mrs. Danvers — also I 
lunched one day at Chester Terrace, but I think I told you 
this. We are all very much interested with the Parnell com- 
mission,* of course, & have very little doubt that the judge 
will make a crushing report. Also I have with Alfred's ap- 
proval bought an old second hand walnut bureau — I have 
long wanted something of the kind — like the old study bureau 
that you have in your morning room, but smaller & not so 
high & without glass front — I think I shall like it very much ^ 
— Please excuse more & 

Believe me Yr. affte. brother 

S— Butler— 

III, "Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C. 
Jan 13. 1889 — 
Dear May 

Thank you very much for the library catalogue.^ I have 
not yet undone the other papers you sent being occupied with 
the letters which are a very long business. I have burned a 
great many to my grandfather, but not one of his own, nor 
any about which there can be a shadow of doubt. I find some 
wonderful letters from Mrs. Wynne,^ Dr. Parr's daughter — 

^Alfred Emery Cathie (b. 1862) whom Butler hired as his servant on January 
18, 1887, after his father's death — three weeks earlier — made it financially pos- 
sible for him to do so. (See Biographical Sketches.) 

* Beginning in September, 1888, a special commission of three justices sat to 
investigate charges by the Times that Parnell had criminally conspired with Irish 
revolutionists. (See note 5 for Letter 113.) 

^Butler later noted: "November 15 [1888]: Bought my bureau, and have 
grumbled at it ever since" (MS Notebooks, III, 125). 

Letter iii: 

^ The sale catalogue of Dr. Butler's library; Butler was working on his biog- 
raphy of his grandfather. (See The Life and Letters of Br. Butler, II, 440.) 

^Mrs. Sarah Anne Wynne (1772-18 10), eldest daughter of Samuel Parr (1747- 


what a brilliant woman she was! Do you know any thing 
about her? If you can find out any thing from the arch- 
deacon ^ pray do. She must have been very troublesome to my 
grandfather, and I have no doubt her husband had a good 
deal to say in his own defence, but she was a wonderful woman 
and I am very glad to have seen her letters — all of which, 
however, I have not yet read. Dr. Parr's are simply illegible * — 
but I shd think there is not much in them for Dr. J. Johnstone 
is sure to have had them for his life of Dr. Parr ^ & to have 
printed any thing important. Of our grandfather himself it is 
hardly possible to be too enthusiastic & I do not doubt that I 
shall have abundant material for a very interesting & striking 
memoir — one which will I hope be if not worthy of his mem- 
ory, at any rate as worthy as I can make it — but — there goes 
another £80 or £ioo! for who will buy it? ^ However, happily 
that is not a very important consideration, and the thing has 
got to be done. The thing that especially strikes me about him 
is his amazing long-suffering & forbearingness under great 
provocation, & his marvellous placability. This & his tre- 
mendous energy & power of work. No wonder he wore out 
before his time. 

I have not been able to get on with your & Harriets photos 
— since Xmas we have not had a single fair printing day— 

1825), schoolmaster and scholar, lifelong friend of Dr. Butler. Mrs. Wynne visited 
Dr. Butler frequently, and lived at Shrewsbury School (i 807-1810) while in- 
stituting a suit for divorce. The Dictionary of National Biography, under "Samuel 
Parr," comments: "Mrs. Wynne had been the cleverest of Parr's daughters, and 
showed some of her mother's sarcastic temper." 

^Probably Thomas Bucknall Lloyd (1824— 1896), archdeacon of Salop, son 
of Harriet, Dr. Butler's younger daughter. 

* "The difl&culty of ascertaining some words correctly is inconceivable to those 
who are unacquainted with Dr. Parr's hand" (John Johnstone, The Works of 
Samuel Parr . . . with Memoirs of His Life and a Selection from His Corre- 
spondence [1828], I, 54IW.). 

^Johnstone prints ten letters from Parr to Dr. Butler, most of them turgid 
personal eulogies. The most interesting is Parr's request that Dr. Butler preach 
at his funeral, which Parr thought — rightly — would be soon (I, 531—532, 838; 
VII, 3J9-373). 

^ In 1901 Butler calculated that he had lost £193 i8j. od. on The Life and 
Letters of Dr. Butler, almost double what he lost on his next most costly book, 
Ex Voto ("Account Slip" in MS Notebooks, VI; Shrewsbury Note-Books, pp. 
375-376, 376».)- 


and after all I am afraid the improved negatives are hardly 
very satisfactory. They will come as soon as ever I can get to 
them, but what with Xmas balancing of my books — a long 
business — what with my grandfather, the correcting of *Ex 
Veto' (of which by the way you will have seen the Guardian 
review ^ — as much, I suppose, as I could expect from that 
quarter) & with Ulysses which creeps on — I have had my 
hands exceedingly full. Alfred keeps very good, & does his 
best to keep me straight. 

I am very sorry to hear you have had a cold, and hope you are 
better. By the way I ran down last Thursday week to Kenil- 
worth for a day returning the same evening and spent 3 
hours with Mrs. Butler ^ to ask her a few points which I 
thought she might know. She knew nothing. I photographed 
her, & got what seems to me a very good & not unpleasant 
likeness, but she is very distinctly of a different opinion. I see 
I must never photograph any one over thirty. I thought her a 
good deal aged. No more news — Love to Harrie 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

112, 'Butler to ^M.ay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

[15 Clifford's Inn] 
July I, 1889. 
Dear May 

I am sorry you cannot give a better account of Harrie 
though you do say that she seems somewhat mending. It is 
very good of you to wish me to come to "Wilderhope but I will, 
please, definitely, stick this time to the George. I shall be on 
duty all 3 days — Tuesday with the Camera Club — Wednesday 

A one-column review which commended Butler for illuminating an obscure 
corner of Europe but criticized him for being unsound on art and for writing 
"over-wrought panegyrics" {Guardian, 44 [January 2, 1889], 20). 

^ Mrs. William Henry Butler (d. 1891), widow of Dr. Butler's cousin, living 
at this time in the Stone House, Kenilworth. 


at Harnage — ^Thursday the speeches/ & I mean getting away 
Thursday evening if I can as I leave home for my Summer 
outing on Saturday, and want as much time as possible to 
finish my preparations, but I will pay you sundry visits. 

I am writing for the first time in my new spectacles — the 
lower /4 rather stronger, the upper half the same as before. I 
dare say I shall come to like them but at present I do (fa) not 
do so & they put me out — which I suspect means that they 
will not do. 

I hear with regret that no letters from our grandfather have 
been found among Baron Merian's papers ^ — but the family 
have a portrait of him which I am to photograph on my way 
thro' Basle ^ — and I am to see the old lady his niece * who re- 
members him, & will no doubt tell me something about him. 
I feel sure that J. H. Klaproth ^ took the letters (on that) from 
our grandfather on the Baron's death. 

I have evidence in his own handwriting that he had the run 
of all Baron Merian's papers on his death, & the family tell me 
they have not found a single scrap of Klaproth's, though I also 
find in Kl.'s handwriting that he & the Baron were "in daily 
correspondence." Klaproth, as you know, corresponded with 
Dr. B. till his death [in] 1835, & Dr. B. sent him once a pres- 
ent of 1000 francs when he was in difficulties: I find he staid 
at Shrewsbury in 1825, — at least the Baron thanks Dr. B. for 
"having taken such excellent care" of him. I find from the 
Biographie Universelle that Kl., though a man of wonderful 
attainments, bore a shady character,^ I gather in respect of 

Letter 112; 

^Shrewsbury School Speech Day, held Thursday, July 11, 1889. 

^ Baron Andreas Merian (1772-1828), a philologist; he met Dr. Butler in 
Cambridge in 1798 and corresponded with him thereafter. Butler prints twenty- 
eight of his letters to Dr. Butler. 

^A reproduction of this portrait appears in Easier Jahrbuch (19 17), opposite 
p. 280. 

* Elizabeth Bischoff-Merian (1823-1894). Butler reports {The Life and Letters 
of Dr. Butler, I, 135-136) that she was able to give him brief biographical notes 
on the Baron. 

^Jules-Henri Klaproth (1783-183 5), a student of comparative linguistics, friend 
of Dr. Butler through Baron Merian (with whom he collaborated on many philo- 
logical studies). 

^ "Klaproth avait le gout et les habitudes de la haute societe, ainsi qu'un 
penchant tres-decide pour ce qui compose una douce et elegante existence; il 


integrity; and I think it exceedingly likely that he stuck to 
the letters of Dr. B. perhaps indeed with the consent of the 
Merian family & possibly with Dr. B.'s own knowledge. At 
any rate I am now in search of what became of Kl.'s papers on 
his death — & if I find they were destroyed shall then give up 
the search. 

Alfred (who has a bad boil on his neck & took it into his 
head this morning to faint away, so I sent him home) has 
copied out in type all Baron M's letters (by) but % dozen 
which he will finish before I go. I take the originals to Basle 
to show the Merian family who some of them read English & 
much wished to see them ; I am to have them again but wd not 
let them out of my possession till I had a copy of them. This is 
why I have not got on with the remaining letters I took from 
Wilderhope in the spring. These will be next attended to. I 
met Josephine Sherrington on Saturday at Mile Vaillant's ^ 
concert where two songs of Jones's were done with much eclat. 
She sent her love (with some apology) to you & Harrie. I 
don't suppose I shall see you till tea time on Wednesday as I 
don't know when the Camera club affair will end. Glad the 
building progresses to your satisfaction. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S— Butler 

11^. 'Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

15. Chfford's Inn E C 
Mar. ^. 1890 
Dear May 

I owe you a letter badly, but have no particular news to 
write about. I am much occupied with my lecture on the 

n'etait I'ennemi ni de la gaiete ni des plaisirs. C'est peut-etre a ce partage entre 
I'etude et les dissipations mondaines qu'il dut le declin rapide de sa sante." 

'^Gabrielle Vaillant (1853-1899), a violinist, introduced to Butler by Miss 
Savage. "I disliked Mile V. from the first moment that I saw her, and my dislike 
and distrust always deepened. . . . S.B,, August 27th, 1901" (Butler-Savage 
Letters, p. 121). 


relations between thought and language,^ to be delivered at 
the working men's college on the 15th inst. It is a rather 
alarmingly dry subject but I don't believe intelligent working 
men think that they have had their due unless they are given 
something pretty stiff. At any rate they are told what they 
must expect & if they come to a lecture on relations between 
thought and language they must not expect it to be illustrated 
by a series of comic magic lantern slides. Jones has just com- 
pleted a fine quartet & I am muddling on with Ulysses. Jones 
met Fuller Maitland ^ the other day (he is musical critic to the 
Times) & told me afterwards that highly as he himself & I 
thought of Narcissus, Fuller Maitland certainly thought more 
highly still, & complained bitterly that no one had done it — 
he said "It would do a lot of good." I get on more slowly than 
I should like with Dr. B. but he cannot move faster till the 
lecture is over. Alfred has been type-writing it at my dicta- 
tion; for some days he said nothing, but the fire was kindling 
within him & yesterday he said, "Well, Sir, this is a dry one." 
So I flew at him, & he said he was very sorry but it was really 
so very dry that he could not contain himself. So I had to 
make the best of it. I hope you are satisfied with the Parnell 
Commission report.^ I should have pitched it a little stronger 
myself, but have no doubt they know best; nothing however 
will make me believe that the original letter of Parnell's that 
the Times published is not by him.^ Some of the later ones no 

Letter 115; 

^This lecture was delivered at the "Working Men's College on March 15; Butler 
revised it for delivery four years later; the revised version is printed in Shrews- 
bury Edition, XIX, 61-90. 

*John Alexander Fuller-Maitland (i 856-1936), at this time music critic of 
the Times, later editor of Grove's Dictionary of Musicians. Butler was to meet 
him for the first time at Mile Valiant's house on April 27, 1890 (MS Notebooks, 
III, 127). 

'The Commission's report (see note 4 for Letter no), issued in February, 1890, 
was variously interpreted as vindicating and condemning Parnell. It actually found 
him not guilty of the Times' charges of criminal activity but censured him for 
inflammatory actions. 

* The last article in the Times' series, "Parnellism and Crime" (April 18, 1887, 
p. 8), contained an incriminating letter, allegedly written by Parnell but prob- 
ably forged by Richard Pigott (1828?-! 8 89). Defending itself against a lawsuit, 
the Times produced other "Parnell letters" which Pigott forged — less successfully 


doubt are forged but Pigott stuck to it that the earlier ones 
were not. I won't add anything, for when people take to writ- 
ing about politics it is a sign that they [have] pretty well ex- 
hausted their stock. Oh yes! They are moving on fast with the 
Italian translation of Ex Voto ^ & keep sending me over chap- 
ters to revise. It is in the hands of one who belongs to the 
clerical party so I said *'pray cut out anything you find likely 
to wound or offend a good Catholic," ^ and he replied that 
there was really nothing they objected to. We have a great 
deal to learn from them in the matter of not being too 
abominably logical. I hope you both continue to escape in- 
fluenza & am. 

Yr affte brother 
S. Butler. 

114, "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Carate — Lario ^ 
Lago di Como [Italy] 
Sett. 18. 1890 
Dear May — 

A few lines only to say that though I have been incessantly 
on the look out for the right lady ever since I last wrote I 
have not yet succeeded in finding the one whom I can trust 
not to raise difficulties either before marriage or afterwards. I 

— for the occasion. Pigott committed suicide after implicating himself before the 
special commission, but Butler tried to salvage what he could of what had 
seemed such promising anti-Liberal evidence. 

^ A translation of Ex Voto by Angelo Rizzetti was published in Novara in 1894. 
Butler wrote a preface to this edition in Italian, an English translation of which 
is printed in the Shrewsbury Edition, IX, xvii-xxi. 

' The only possibility of offense to a Roman Catholic is in Butler's occasionally 
flippant treatment of the subject matter of this art — his remarks on the weight 
of the Virgin (p. 26), or his having himself photographed with one of the 
statues (p. 160), for example. 

Letter 114: 

^ Hotel Lario, Carate (about six miles above Como on the west bank). 


am therefore still hesitating & in matters of this sort the man 
who hesitates is generally saved; but there is no knowing, and 
with Dick's example before me I am — well — perhaps the most 
sensible thing will be to wait till Dick has been married a 
year or two and see whether it kills him or not. 

I did a lot at Varallo and again met the Bishop of Chichester 
& Archdeacon Mount ^ who were very gracious ; the editor of 
the Pall Mall Gazette ^ & his wife (not Mr. Stead the late 
editor, but his successor) were there. They had my Universal 
Review articles * all cut out of the Review & bound together, 
& they had *Ex Voto,' & were doing everything as directed, 
so of course I was greatly flattered. 

We have also had a letter from my friend Gogin who writes 
of an English friend of his at Paris who likes Jones's & my 
music very much. He says "She often plays your & Jones's 
things to people in Paris & they like them very much, but she 
dares not say they are either modern or English, so it is *Je vais 
vous jouer des oeuvres posthumes de Haendel,' & they are 
happy. One of them who not only listens, but composes went 
so far as to say *C'est charmant, c'est ravissant, c'est du Lully 
tout pur!' " ^ — which is very gratifying, the more so that 
Gogin does not reveal whether it is Jones's music or mine that 
is pure Lully — so we can each settle the question in his own 

I am very glad you are feeling better. I am all right, thank 
you, & I think my wrist, which I hurt at Saas, will come right, 
though it is still not all I shd wish — I fell in the dark with all 

^Richard Durnford (see Letter 83) and his nephew, Francis John Mount 
( 1 831-1903), archdeacon of Chichester. 

^Edward Tyas Cook (1857— 1919), who succeeded William Thomas Stead (1849- 
1912) as editor in 1889. 

* Only three of Butler's eight articles which the Cooks could have seen in the 
Universal Review would have been useful in touring: "A Sculptor and a Shrine" 
(2 [November, 1888], 317-339), on Montrigone; "L'Aflfaire Holbein-Rippel" 
(5 [November, 1889], 377-392), on the drawing in Basel; and "A Mediaeval Girl 
School" (5 [December, 1889], 551-566), on Oropa and Varallo. 

" In a postcard to Gogin, written the day before this letter, Jones says: "We 
have been purring and wagging our tails ever since your letter came about the 
'oeuvres posthumes de Haendel' & 'Lully tout pur' — we quite agree" (Chapin 


my weight on it. Jones desires to be remembered very kindly; 

with love to Harrie believe me 

Your afifte. brother 
S. Butler 

P. S. I intend being back at the end of next week. Today I go 
to Mendrisio to hear all about the revolution.^ 

115. "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. Letter published: Garnett, pp. 215-217; extracts pub' 
lished: Memoir, II, 103. 

15. Clifford's Inn E. C. 

Feb. 14, 1891.^ 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's received this morning. I am coming 
down to Shrewsbury for a day or two. They are going to have 
an exhibition of lantern slides at the Town Hall on Mond, 
23 rd inst. & I have sent a few of my summer shots. I have 
asked Mr. Naunton ^ to send you down a couple of tickets if 
they have them to spare. I unfortunately returned them the 
spare tickets they sent me, not intending either to send slides 
or to be present. I thought the exhibition was limited to 
Shropshire subjects. I have since learned I was mistaken. If 
either of you care to go please take an opportunity of calling 
on Adnitt & Naunton (Mr. Naunton) & seeing whether per- 
sonal suasion cannot extract a ticket. I shall go to Harnage 
either Tuesday or Wed. & shall return on Frid, or Thursd. 
Seriously, this time I will, please, go to the George. 

I hope it will prove that a letter from Ada ^ has miscarried. 

^ The liberal leaders of the Swiss canton of Ticino took control of Bellinzona, 
the capital, as well as smaller towns like Mendrisio in a short-lived rebellion on 
September 11, 1890. 

Letter 115; 

^Garnett incorrectly reads 1892. 

^ "Walter "William Naunton, partner in the Shrewsbury publishing firm of 
Adnitt and Naunton. 

'Ada "Wheeler, who had recently become the wife of Henry Thomas Butler, 
and thus Etta's daughter-in-law. 


I shall, as usual with stupid mankind, lag a little behind, & 
refuse to be indignant till an extreme case has been made out 
& counsel heard on both sides. You see it is so easy to preserve 
a judicial frame of mind when it is not one's own suscep- 
tibilities that are wounded. No doubt, however, it is very 
wrong. A daughter in law should always write to her mother 
in law by the first post after the ceremony. 

Alfred and I were in the dark room making slides. I was 
afraid of exposing the same plate twice & said "now Alfred, 
we must be careful. I am afraid I shall get confused." Alfred 
replied "Yes, sir, you will, but Vm here,' all said quite un- 
consciously. Yesterday he said "Let me see; yes; perhaps I 
shall see that you have your hair cut tomorrow." This after- 
noon I am to call on the Tillbrooks,^ so this morning he ex- 
amined my hair and said reproachfully "Oh no, sir, you can't 
go; it's all ragged — it (would) won't do at all; you can go to 
Mr. Evans's ^ in the Turnstile as you go to the Museum if you 
like, or if you haven't done it then I'll have a cup of coffee for 
you at half past two, & then you can go down to Mr. Hunt's ^ 
— that's how I'll settle it. Don't forget." And then he looks 
perfectly satisfied. Of course I went to Mr. Evans's straight 
away, for I knew if I didn't I must go to Mr. Hunt's & I 
might as well get it over — from which you will gather that I 
am doing what I ought not & writing letters at the Museum. 
I am very sorry about poor Crib.^ Love to Harrie. 

Yr. affecte. brother 
S. Butler— 

* Philip Limborch Tillbrook, Standard Bearer, Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms. His 
father was a close friend of Dr. Butler's. (See The Life and Letters of Dr. Butler, 
I, 125—126.) 

^ In the Memoir, Jones silently corrects Butler throughout this passage and 
reads "Mr. Skinner" for "Mr. Evans." Apparently Butler confused Skinner, a 
hairdresser whose shop was in Great Turnstile, on the way to the Museum, 
with Evans, whose shop lay in the other direction. 

* A hairdressing shop in Fetter Lane, just a few doors from Butler's rooms. 
^ The family's black mongrel dog. 


1 1 6, 'Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Address Poste Restante 
Bormio, Valtellina, Italy — 
[Mid-August, 1 891] 
Dear May 

I write from Chiavenna where I wait Jones who arrives 
tomorrow. I went straight to Beckenried on the Lake of 
Lucerne where I staid a few days. Dr. Sieber ^ of Basle was 
there, who is a cousin of Mrs. Refardt,^ Baron Merian's great 
niece. He is librarian of the Museum at Basle — and I knew he 
was there so went to meet him: he is a very fine old gentleman 
& completely with me in the Holbein affair. Also there was 
there Dr. Krantz ^ director of Dresden musical conservatory. 
He played Narcissus all through & seemed very much pleased 
with it, only he said he could not see where the comedy lay — 
for the music seemed to him throughout most serious & classi- 
cal! That is rather what we hoped it might. He had a fine 
Queen Arete wife ^ with him & a lovely Nausicaa daughter, & 
he was not a bad King Alcinous himself, for as you know my 
notion of King A. is nothing very regal.^ 

I am going on with the Odyssey & have done 3 books since 
leaving London. When Jones comes I shall stop — till he goes. 
I have taken some lovely shots, the King Alcinous group of 
course & Dr. Sieber — & I have very nearly had my head (my> 
punched more than once. 

By the way Menelaus proposes to Telemachus & Pisistratus 

Letter ii6: 

'^Ludwig Sieber (1833 -i 891), director of the Bibliotheque Universitaire at 

^Elizabeth Refardt (1853— 1923), an adopted daughter of Baron Merian's niece, 
Elizabeth Bischoflf-Merian. (See note 4 for Letter 112.) 

^Eugen Krantz (i 844-1 898). He purchased the Dresden Conservatory and be- 
came director of it in 1890. 

* Butler's mind was full of the Odyssey at this time. He was translating it, 
and "it was during the few days that I was at Chiavenna that I hit upon the 
feminine authorship of the Odyssey" {Memoir, II, 106). 

^"[Alcinous] is hardly mentioned at all except to be made more or less 
ridiculous" {The Authoress of the Odyssey, p. 120). 


that they should make a little tour through the Peleponese 
and that he shd personally conduct them.^ 

It will be very cheap, he says, for every one will give us 
something, either a pot or a kettle or a couple of mules, or a 
gold cup. He seemed to think they might make rather a good 
thing out of a sponging tour. However Minerva put her foot 
down & Telemachus was to go back at once. I find Etoneus 
the butler lived out of the house — that is not very regal — & 
when he came up after having just got out of bed Menelaus 
told him to light the fire & begin cooking dinner.^ Fancy what 
Rogers or Hodgkinson ^ wd have said to this! I am certain that 
neither P. nor Tel. tipped Etoneus when they went away. We 
shd have heard they had given £50 if they had given him a 
shilling. But I am sure they gave him nothing at all. If the 
sponging tour had come off Menelaus would have stuck to all 
the gifts. He might have given Tel. a kettle, but certainly not 
more. Telemachus probably rather felt this, so he said Minerva 
wd not let him. The more I see of the Odyssey the better I like 
it — it is wonderful, but nothing can well be more franche- 
ment bourgeois & unheroic. I am going ahead with it as fast 
[as] I can for on my return I mean hawking it about to every 
publisher of any respectability in London ^ — & I cannot go 
about with half an Odyssey. Looking ahead the most horrid 
thing I see is that when U. has killed the suitors he finds out 
from Euryclea which of the maids had misconducted them- 
selves. 12 names are given to him so he sends for them & makes 
them mop up the blood & clean every thing up, & then he 
hangs them.^^ Now will you or will you not have one particle 
of respect or sympathy for U. after that? I think you will say 

° Book XV, 11. 80-85; Butler's translation, p. 229. He includes this view of the 
tour in The Authoress of the Odyssey, pp. 145—146. 

'''Book XV, 11. 95-98; Butler's translation, p. 229. (See The Authoress of the 
Odyssey, p. 146.) 

^ The family butlers. 

^ The translation was complete by the end of September, 1891. He offered it 
to publisher after publisher in 1892, but none took it; in 1893 he had sample pas- 
sages printed to show them — still without result. It was finally published by 
Longmans, Green in 1900, at his expense. 

^° Telemachus hangs the maids. 


that he cannot get more at my hands than he deserves. To me 

from first to last he seems a servant's hall hero. However — 
I shall probably start for the Valtellina on Friday, & be at 

Varallo at the end of the month. I am quite well and hope you 

are both the same. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S— Butler 

iij, 'Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Sep. 30. 1 89 1 
Dear May 

Thank you for your's received this morning. I got back on 
Monday night, & am as you may imagine very busy — and 
Alfred keeps me fully employed with never less than % 
dozen things at a time. I have Jones really very ill with 
ulcerated sore throat, & tonsils. There is no danger, but he is 
very bad and requires a good deal of attention. I shall be very 
glad when I have seen him take a turn. Mile Vaillant is very 
kind and is helping to nurse him. 

Did I tell you that I was reduced to a state of pulp by the 
people I met at Pesio? It was a singularly agreeable company 
and I was very sorry when it all broke up. 

I have finished my Homer having got the 12 books done 
as I intended. I then rushed back to Varallo & went through 
the whole of the Italian translation of Ex Voto, putting in the 
discoveries of the summer. Then I came back straight & got 
here on Monday night. 

I will, please, come down next week for a couple of days if 
Jones is all right again. I want to arrange about sticking a few 
more trees into the woods at Harnage — and October is the 
right time. 

By the (twice) way twice this Summer, Italians, one an 


elderly married lady, & one an elderly married gentleman, 
have come up to me affectionately & caught me by the beard, 
as a way of testifying their pleasure at seeing me. I do not 
remember this before, but was struck by it because I had 
just translated the meeting between Ulysses & Euryclea, where 
Eury. does this very same thing.^ 

Please excuse more — I will come on Tuesday leaving Pad- 
din gton at lo. A. M. unless I hear to the contrary. Love to 

Yr. affte. brother 
S— Butler. 

1 1 8. "Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Stationery imprinted: samuel butler, ij, Cliffords inn, London, e. c. 


Jan 18 1892 
Dear May 

I am exceedingly sorry to hear that (y> Harrie has the in- 
fluenza — and hope she will be very careful. Eucalyptus oil is 
all the rage now so we have got some. I am all right again now 
— and today's really milder weather makes a very agreeable 

I do not mean Dr. B.'s life to be a page shorter than 300 
pp.^ — but Mr. Moss ^ and [I] both feel that Dr. B.'s memory 
is best served and best preserved by that which shall be most 
widely read, and that the long book already three parts done 
would be confined to a few while the smaller one would prob- 
ably have a far wider circulation. The large book will be com- 
pleted as though it were going to be published, and then given 

Letter 117: 

^Book XIX, 1. 473; Butler's translation, p. 303. 

Letter 118: 

"■^The two volumes of The Life and Letters of Dr. Butler amounted to almost 
800 pages when published at Butler's expense in 1896 — and Butler had reduced 
his manuscript by a third in 1895. 

^Headmaster of Shrewsbury School. (See note 4 for Letter 84.) 


to the British Museum.^ I had a small interview with Murray 
the publisher the other day and told him what I proposed. He 
said **depend on it you will do much more wisely if you stick 
to this." So I have finally settled the size of my canvas, i. e., 
300 pp., Life & Habit size. The moment I have finished my 
lecture for the Working Mens College (30th Inst.) * I return 
to Dr. B. & shall not leave him till he is completed. 

I had a great triumph this morning. I settled that if the 
City of the Phaeacians could be identified ^ it should ( i ) be 
at no great distance from Marsala. ( 2 ) There should be a town 
& a harbour — not very big but with a good long extension 
but no river, (3) There should be no river for 3 or 4 miles. 
(4) There should be a good big mountain near the town — 
pretty close over it. (5) There should be a sunken rock just 
about level with the sea — or what is called by sailors *'awash" 
within easy sight of the (river) harbour. (6) There should be 
no range of hills between the river & the town, & the river 
should be quite a little one, with flat ground between it & the 

Armed with these requirements I went down to the map- 
room of the British Museum and demanded to see the ad- 
miralty charts of the coast near Marsala: I explained what I 
wanted and the keeper of the maps had no sooner unrolled the 
chart than he said "Why here it is — the very first thing" — 
just 9 or ten miles north of Marsala — every condition ab- 
solutely fulfilled, and nothing like it anywhere else. So I have 
no longer any shadow of doubt about my view being correct. 
Love to Harrie and condolences 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

'Butler gave the Museum a copy with two additional volumes of letters. 

* "A Lecture on the Humour of Homer," printed in Shrewsbury Edition, XIX, 

^ Butler was trying to identify the topography of the Odyssey. He outlined his 
case for Sicily as the location of the city of the Phaeacians (essentially as he gives 
it to May in this letter) in a letter to the Athenaeum (January 30, 1892, pp. 
149-150). The fullest statement of his theory is in chap. 8 of The Authoress 
of the Odyssey. 


11^, "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

Feb. 27. 1892 
Dear May 

I beg your pardon — I thought I had long told you that 
Nausicaa did write the Odyssey/ I only wish some one wd 
venture to tell me she didn't in a place where I could lay my 
hands about him. Of course I don't say this in the Athenaeum 
because I think it wd frighten people, but I have no doubt 
about it myself. 

I send my second Athenaeum letter, ^ but please return it 
when read. 

Another singularly unexpected and very pretty confirma- 
tion turned up yesterday.^ I expect I shall have to write to the 
Athenaeum about it again.^ 

I don't mind Alfred's buzzing the least bit. I did not go to 
Peele's nor Wilkinson's nor Drury Lane. It is perfectly under- 
stood between us that he is to say what he likes & I am to do 
what I like; ^ but to muzzle Alfred's mouth considering what 

Letter 119: 

^ Butler first presented his theory of Nausicaa as the authoress of the Odyssey 
in his lecture on the humor of Homer in January, 1892. 

^ His second letter about the topography of the Odyssey appeared on February 
20, 1892 (pp. 245—246). 

^" [After my first letter to the Athenaeum'] I had written to Trapani for 
information about the rock Malconsiglio, and was told of two legends in con- 
nexion with it — one palpably absurd, and the other that it was a ship of Turkish 
pirates who were coming to attack Trapani, but the Virgin turned it into stone 
just as it was entering the harbour, i.e., the Odyssean version. Christianized, was 
still current, while the name of the rock clinched its connexion with the poem" 
{On the Trapanese Origin of the Odyssey [1893], Part II, 6—j). 

* No further letters appeared. 

^ Alfred always left detailed instructions for his employer. A note which par- 
ticularly amused Butler and which he might have quoted to May, reads: "Feb 8. 
1892. You are to work here tomorrow (Tuesday) until 12 o'clock, then you are 
to go to Peele's or Wilkinson's & get your dinner. Then reach Drury Lane by 
5 to I (not later) . Pit early door 2/6. When you are inside & cannot get a 
seat in the middle go to the left hand side & you will see better — " (MS Note- 
books, VI, 64-65; Butleriana, p. 130). 


a lot of corn he treads for me & how devotedly — it would be 
like keeping a tame snail and insisting that it shd never put 
its horns out. Every now & then I brush him away, but never 
so as to prevent him from coming back & buzzing again al- 
most immediately. 

By the way I am strictly enjoined to send you the photo 
enclosed herewith & to register them, as a number of letters 
have been going wrong lately. 

I see I have not said that there has been no reply to my 
Athenaeum letter ® which I & my friends take to mean that 
no one sees how to attack my position successfully. Love to 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

1 20. <tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Ap. 25, 1892. 
Dearest Sam 

I have just been looking at the yellow auriculas — through 
the window — for I am kept in a bit with a cold. They are 
coming out, but will be the better for a few days more, I 
think. Then you & Alfred shall have your spoils but they 
won't be as fine this year as last, for want of rain. 

Harrie is away at Ventnor, Washington Villa, and May 
comes here some day this week, I think; Etta & Elsie, who are 
now at Clifton joining Harrie at Ventnor by & bye. I hope 
you were the better for your change. It was breaking quite 
fresh ground wasn't it? And I fancy that queer Holland 
country has a very special charm of its own, in its white skies 
& water lilies. 

Have you seen how you have been slashed in the Spec- 

* There was no answer to Butler's letters about the topography of the Odyssey. 


tator? ^ I have been wondering whether it hurts — it hurts one 
for you a Httle — I am afraid I too felt — I told you so — as if 
you had been treating Homer very irreverently! When you 
read things you made me laugh because you put the fun in 
them, but I didn't find I laughed when you didn't read them. 
One felt somehow as if the scholars would be very angry, and 
I feel as if the ghost of our grandfather would haunt you! But 
perhaps you will say it is all right, & that the notice at all 
shows it was considered worthy of notice. I hope it didn't hurt 
much. I send you a special bit of love. 

I have been writing nearly all the morning, so won't go on 
now, but I am always 

Yr. very affectionate sister 


121. "Butler to <iMay 

Text'. British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, II, 132. 

[15 Clifford's Inn] 
Ap. 26 1892 
Dear May 

I have to thank you for the ancient atlas received some few 
days ago which will be very useful to me, and also for your 
promise of auriculas which will be highly valued both by 
Alfred & myself. I got a good lot of cowslips on Sunday which 
will last me some days. 

The review in the Spectator was intended no doubt to do 
me as much harm as the writer could do, but I do not think 
my friends consider that much of a case has been made out 

Letter 120: 

^ A most unfavorable review of Butler's pamphlet, A Lecture on the Humour 
of Homer (Cambridge, 1892), appeared in the Spectator, 68 (April 23, 1892), 
555-556. It was entitled, "How to Vulgarize Homer." 

^In a note on this letter dated March 10, 1902, Butler says that he kept it 
because it was so characteristic of May; he also attacks the Spectator review for 
treating so seriously a popular lecture intended for working men. 


against me, & the few capable people whom I have yet spoken 
to on the subject consider that by putting my translation & 
Church's ^ so fully side by side the writer has done me good 
service. I certainly prefer my own myself & find most people 
tell me (to my face at any rate) that they do so also. As for 
**Lazy," & "traitorous scoundrel," & the few small holes the 
writer picks with the translation — I believe myself to be in 
each case perfectly right and in wanting to make out that I 
have attempted "to fix attention on the ideas which we con- 
nect with the adjective *dirty,' " the animus of the writer is so 
clearly shown that I should think none but those who are so 
weak kneed that I need not trouble about them will fail to see 
through it. We believe the article to be by a Miss Jane Harri- 
son,^ who wrote a book about Homer a dozen years ago or so 
in the affected Church style which so many people unfor- 
tunately mistake for culture. She was at my lecture ^ with the 
two Miss Butcher's ^ (Butcher and Lang's sisters) . She told me 
she had disliked it very much, & the Miss Butchers glared at 
me, so I went off to those who were more sympathetic. I am 
told she was scowling the whole lecture through — of course I 
may be wrong — the review may be by Mr. Gladstone, but we 
think Miss Harrison more likely. I think most people will see 
that it is by an angry woman who is determined to see nothing 
but bad and she will not even deign to notice the topographi- 

Letter 121: 

^ The reviewer set passages from Butler's translation next to some from Alfred 
J. Church's (1829-19 12) adaptation, The Story of the Odyssey, also published in 
1892. One's confidence in the reviewer's judgment is strained by his preference 
for the passages from Church. 

^Jane Ellen Harrison (i 850-1928), whose Myths of the Odyssey in Art and 
Literature appeared in 188 1. Butler later noted on his copy of this letter that 
Miss Harrison assured him that she had not written the review. Butler came to 
believe that the author was Gladstone. 

^ The lecture on the humor of Homer which was later printed and reviewed 
in the Spectator. 

* Augusta (d. 1899) and Eleanor (d. 1894) Butcher, sisters of Samuel Henry 
Butcher, whose famous translation of the Odyssey in collaboration with Andrew 
Lang was frequently attacked by Butler. Three years later, Augusta Butcher 
married Charles Crawley, vice-principal of the Working Men's College and a 
personal friend of Butler's. 


cal suggestions which she cannot contradict. In fact we believe 
it to be just on a small scale Blomfield and Dr. B ^ over again. 
If my way of doing the thing is right Miss Harrison's is 
wrong and so is Mr. Butchers; so naturally Miss Harrison and 
the Miss Butchers abuse me as much as they can. As for Dr. 
Butler, I should think he would be delighted with the whole 
thing — at least you may be sure I should not take so much 
pains with his life & memory and then go & do anything 
which I believe he would consider in bad taste. However, it is 
hopeless my trying to please the Spectator or those who take 
in the Spectator, and I may as well irritate them as I know 
I cannot please them. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

122. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

15. Clifford's Inn 

May 22, 1892 
Dear May 

I am extremely sorry to hear you have been unwell and 
hope you will soon be all right again. I am very well, but 
dreadfully busy. I have really got rid of everything down to 
the end of 1 8 3 1 now,^ and trust to have every letter out of my 
hands & in the museum before I go for my holiday. Then the 
writing of the book will be very rapid work, but I can do 

^ Two unfavorable reviews of Dr. Butler's Aeschylus by Charles James Blomfield 
(1786— 1857) precipitated a long quarrel. (See The Life and Letters of Dr. Butler, 
I, 61-63.) 

Letter 122: 

^ Butler was working on The Life and Letters of Dr. Butler. The "Literary 
Gossip" column in the Athenaeum for May 21, 1892 (p. 668) reported that 
Butler was making slow progress but that when he mastered the great volume 
of correspondence he would proceed rapidly to writing the memoir. 


nothing till all the interesting letters are copied & the rest 
either burnt or in the Museum — but I burn very few. The 
Museum are omnivorous & set great value on the collection. 
Alfred & I are continuously at work upon them. 

No more reviews of my Homer, but the publishers ^ write 
me from Cambridge that their "classical customers" generally 
agree with the pamphlet, tho* whether this means topography 
only, or female authorship as well, I know not. The row how- 
ever is not yet fairly begun — it is sure to come — in Italy as 
well as here. I have many additional facts in support of my 
view and not a word against it — I mean not a word of serious 
argument has reached me. It is a delightful fighting ground, 
for it touches no burning question, can wound no one's feel- 
ings — is eminently respectable, appeals to the whole literary 
world, & touches a question of permanent interest. I shall 
never get another on which to crow & clap my wings miore 
comfortably to myself and with less serious offense to other 
people — though I admit that some people have seemed to be 
somewhat seriously offended. Indeed my friend Mr. Garnett ^ 
will hardly speak to me. I am learning the poems ^ in the Greek 
off by heart — before breakfast — as I dress, & saying it to my- 
self as I go along the street. Alfred says I shall be run over, but 
I do not think so. Alfred is very well, & always funny, but he 
has not out-Alfreded himself particularly very lately. I don't 
very well see how he can. 

The rooks in Gray*s Inn had a parliament on the grass some 
ten days ago, and have left Gray's Inn in a body leaving their 
young to die in the nests. This is because the Benchers have put 
up a corrugated iron shed in the gardens. So good bye Gray's 
Inn rooks. I hope they may be happy, but it is rather a shame 
of them considering that they have been there from time im- 

I shall be at the Speeches,^ but I do not quite know what is 

^Metcalfe & Co., Cambridge. 

^ For a fuller discussion of the reaction of Richard Garnett (see note 4 for 
Letter 31), see Memoir, II, 123-124, 131. 
* The Odyssey and the Iliad. 
^Shrewsbury School Speech Day, June 29, 1892. 


to happen if Dr. Butler of Trinity ^ & I come across one an- 
other. I shall keep out of his way as much as I can, for he has 
treated me with great rudeness. Love to May & to Harrie if she 
is returned. 

Yr. affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

12^, "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

[15 Clifford's Inn] 
June 18. 1892 
Dear May 

One line to ask how you both are — I trust fairly well. I am 
very busy — chiefly with Dr. B. who is now in 1834. I hope to 
finish 183^ before I go for my holiday but it is hopeless I fear 
to think of getting all the letters done before I go. I snatch 
time for Homer, or rather for Nausicaa. No more reviews, and 
if they are to be like those that I have had,^ they will not tell 
me anything I did not know, & this is the only thing that can 
be of service to me. Do you see why Laertes was made so poor, 
and sent to live away in the country with an old woman to 
look after him? He wasn't poor at all really. How could his 
son (who left for Troy when he was about 20) be so enor- 
mously rich in his father's lifetime while Laertes was going 
about almost in rags? He is disposed of in this way to account 
for his not interfering with Penelope & the suitors. Of course 
the question wd arise what was he about & why did not he 

* Henry Montagu Butler (1833-1918), master of Trinity College, Cambridge; 
he spoke at the Speech Day. Butler's hostility arose in 1889 when Henry Butler 
wrote asking for information about his father, former headmaster of Harrow and 
correspondent of Butler's grandfather. Butler sent what information he had, but 
Henry Butler "never took any notice of this reply to his own request and stuck 
to the two letters I had imprudently sent him" (Butler's note on a copy of his 
letter to Henry Butler, dated April 14, 1889, British Museum). 

Letter 123; 

^ In addition to the Spectator review of A Lecture on the Humour of Homer, 
a long, unfavorable review by Andrew Lang appeared in Longman's Magazine, 
20 (June, 1892), 215—218. Lang thought Butler's theory and translation irrespon- 


protect his daughter in law — so it is met by saying he was 
poor & powerless. The fact really being that he was so scan- 
dalized with Penelope that he washed his hands of the whole 
business. And as for the web — you may be sure that the orig- 
inal story, out of which Nausicaa was trying to hobble as best 
she could, was that Penelope unpicked the web not so much to 
delay the marriage as to prolong the courtship. As soon as one 
sees that Penelope is being whitewashed the whole thing be- 
comes intelligible whereas at present it is all in such a mess 
that no coherent definite idea as to Penelope is fashionable at 
all.^ They are translating my pamphlet at Trapani ^ & are very 
keen about it. 

I shall come down next week to the speeches. No more, 
please, for I have a lot of letters to write. Love to Harrie 

Yr. affte. brother 
S— Butler— 

124. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Postmark: Trapani, 10 8 94; address: Miss Butler / Wilderhope House / Shrews- 
bury /England. 

Trapani [Italy] 
Frid. Augt. 10. 1894. 
Dear May 

I send one line lest you may be alarmed about me, when 
you see what a very severe earthquake or rather succession of 
earthquakes have occurred at Acireale, Catania, & the neigh- 
bourhood.^ There was a slight shock when I was there: my 

^ Butler rests much of his theory of the authoress on the points he makes 
here. (See chap. 5, "On the Question Whether or No Penelope is Being White- 
washed," pp. 130-139, and chap. 6, pp. 140-142.) 

^ The pamphlet on the humor of Homer was translated privately (letter from 
Biaggini, May 10, 1892, British Museum), but not published. 

Letter 124: 

■^The Times (August 9, 1884, p. 56) reports that an earthquake on August 8 
caused only minor damage at Acireale and Catania, more serious damage in neigh- 
boring towns. 


friends all felt it and exclaimed. I noticed nothing, & was 
vexed not to have perceived it — I said so, but added that I 
dare not wish there might come a second shock for fear it 
might be more serious. I left at 2 o'clock on Tuesd. & on the 
following morning abt. 6 a.m. the first shock occurred — 
since which there have been several, & an eruption of Etna is 
expected hourly. I shall not go this time.^ I am quite well. 
They have made a most interesting confirmatory discovery 
here — a part under Mt. Eryx actually now is called lazzino — 
no doubt a corruption of lacino — doubtless my coin came 
thence.^ Here they treat one like a prince — a dozen came to the 
station to meet me. I shall be here another three weeks. No 
news re Dr. B.* Love to Harrie. It is all I can do to get 5 
minutes to myself — Yr. affte. brother 

S— Butler 

125. <tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Jany. 25. 1895 
Dearest Sam 

As far as I am concerned, I don't think it would seem to me 
desirable to give up any share of the capital which may come 
thro' Aunt Bessie's death.^ Etta would have no claim at all, I 
think, & if I should wish — & I think one would wish — , to let 
the children get some good out of it, I would rather give them 
extra presents, as seemed useful, out of the income which 

^Butler went to watch Etna erupt in 1892 {Memoir, II, 145). 

^ Butler found a fifth-century Greek coin in the British Museum with a repre- 
sentation of Ulysses' brooch. He tried to identify the coin as Sicilian to prove 
that Sicily was known in classical times as the locale of the Odyssey. (See The 
Authoress of the Odyssey, chap. 13, pp. 236—242; plate opposite p. 294 in Butler's 
translation of the Odyssey.) 

* Butler was again offering The Life and Letters of Dr. Butler to publishers. 

Letter 125; 

^Bessie Worsley died on August 29, 1894, leaving equal inheritances of about 
£700 each to Butler and his sisters. There was some question of May and Harrie 
refusing their shares in favor of their nephews; Butler advised them against 
doing so. 


might possibly have fallen under the circumstances to their 
share. One at least wd. know that the capital was safe & the 
money made useful. But I should not hold myself pledged even 
to this, tho' I think it would seem nice. It would not seem even 
necessary to give any reason for such presents if they came. 
I have a strong idea of the "responsibilities of property" & 
would rather hold on to the capital in their case, unless one 
saw much stronger cause for acting otherwise than I do. 

All Etta's money from our father is absolutely tied down 
& in trustee's hands. 

Elsie & Cara are both with us, Cara still uncertain about the 
matronship of the new Schools Sanatorium here, for which 
she sent in testimonials. I think they want to have her, but 
we doubt if it is good enough. Elsie goes today to Edgmond 
for a night. I never admired her character so much. She is 
strong as well as sweet, & has such thoroughly nice ideas. I 
think they are all well aware that Charlie ^ may fail in the new 
venture. He probably will, but I think they were right [to] 
try. We have just had a heavy snow & are quite white again. 
Bessie Bather has had a sharp attack of influenza, & it has left 
her more weak & ill than one likes ; it touched her heart rather. 

With my love, dear Sam, I am 

Yr very affectionate sister 
May — 

126, "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Stationery imprinted: samuel butler. ly, Cliffords inn, London, e. c. 


Mar. 15 1895 
Dear May 

I have no news but send a line to say so. I do not know 
whether I shall get the land near Harnage or not.^ I shall not 

^Butler's nephew. (See note 4 for Letter 128.) 

Letter 126: 

^ Butler was attempting to buy property adjoining his land at Harnage. 


buy it unless I can do so well. Bather ^ has the negociations in 
hand & if they will not take my figure I shall let it alone. 

I believe myself to be better, but it will be some months 
before I get rid of mischief which has been gathering long, 
and was neglected through ignorance of its real nature for 
many months (to) after it had gathered. I am told however 
that if I persevere in doing very little (even a letter sometimes 
bringing on the symptoms in full force) I shall get right & be 
none the worse. 

I am sorry for the trouble you have with your committee. 
The more I see, the more firmly I believe that there is very 
little good to be done except(ing) by individual attention to 
cases which come within the continual near influence and ob- 
servation of the person who is trying to do the good. Those 
who hold the purse strings will always insist on controlling 
the management, and often with great want of judgement. 

I shall leave home about the 31st of March, but will let you 
know if I come down to Shrewsbury first. Believe me 

Yr. affte. brother 
S— Butler— 

12 J, <tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Stationery imprinted: wilderhope house, Shrewsbury. 

Nov. 16, 1895. 
Dearest Sam 

Mrs. Draper ^ is a nice little woman, but very young and 
rather 'casual.' He is a nice person. We know them very 
slightly, owing partly to their being very busy, & partly to 

^John T. Bather, manager of Butler's properties near Shrewsbury. 

Letter i2y: 

"^ Wife of William Henry Draper (matriculated Keble College, Oxford, 1875, 
age 19), pastor of the Church of the Holy Cross in Shrewsbury. He wrote to 
Butler asking if he would donate some of his land for a church social center. 
Instead, Butler agreed to give 100 guineas toward the purchase of any site, in- 
cluding one he owned, at market value; but the plans were not carried out. 


their being so ^casual' but she was a (Beres) Fitzherbert Wright 
— (or Beresford Wright — I forget which) neighbours of 
Edith Turbutt, so I asked her to lunch when Edith was here. 

She told us they wanted a sight [i.e., site], & asked for your 
address, which I of course gave. She would have liked me to 
write to you on the subject, but I felt that I knew nothing at 
all about it — or the merits of the case on either side, and that 
you and Mr. Draper were quite capable of managing your 
own business — and declined to be mixed up in it at all — 
I would not even bear much about it on purpose. I had rather 
gathered that they would — like most people, like it as a gift, 
but nothing very definite was said about that — and if it could 
be a parish council matter no — there are no parish councils in 
towns, and I doubt whether a county council would concern 
itself about the matter. But if there is any parochial body 
which could authorise payment I should if I were you (ask) 
try for it. I think however that there is none which could be 
consulted about any building or site for Church purposes — 
except by voluntary subscription — 

Even a parish council could only take cognisance of such 
a thing as a perfectly secular & ^'undenominational" school 
or clubroom, I believe. And I fancy the room in question was 
meant for club &c, & possibly occasional mission services, but 
I don't know — at all events, to be in the hands of the parish 
clergy. Now I have told you all I know. 

I purposely did not mention it when I wrote because I had 
said I would have nothing to do with it — and felt that I knew 
nothing about it. I thought it was be who would write. He 
did not speak to me about it at all. The only thing I did tell 
her was that I was sure they would find you courteous what- 
ever your answer was. 

Poor Dr. Burd! I don't suppose he even knows — & it was 
not anything but simple family friendship that he wished to 
see you (before) for. He always speaks warmly & kindly of 
you, & when I asked him to come in to meet you at tea — 
which he did — he spoke very heartily — 

The photographer shall photograph anything he likes. I 


hardly expect Harrie quite so soon as tomorrow because of 
the change to cold, but she may come. 

I hear Reginald's death was due to apoplexy. 
Mrs. Burbury died very suddenly, from some quite unsus- 
pected internal mischief. With my love, dear Sam 

Yr very affectionate sister 

12S, <^ay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 


Postmark: Shrewsbury / AP 28 9j; address: S. Butler Esq. / Hotel Centrale / 

Reggio / Calabria / Italy. 

April. 28. 1897. 
I think this will catch you at Reggio, and I hope to find 
you both in better case. 1 shouldn't like to walk with a book 
& a slipper! I should expect to get rheumatism in the slipper 
foot. Good accounts of Harrie. I am much too busy to be 
lonely, & Lucy J.^ comes next week. Elsie is looking at a 
promising little house ^ near Hereford, in which case Hereford 
would do well for E. & M.^ & afford the latter plenty of scope 
for her energies & they would be a nice distance from us. 
Charlie is — half way between Athens & Larissa!! * — He vol- 
unteered & went out in a hurry, having volunteered before 
war broke out but then M. Metasas w. not promise his pas- 
sage. When war was declared, M. Metasas telegraphed offering 
passage &c. in charge of a small troop of volunteers going 
out — & letters of recommendation for a Gr commission. He 
wrote rather nicely. Don't imagine we stirred a finger to help! 
but tho' I have no sympathies with the Greeks, I think it was 
plucky of him. Dr. Burd & the Lloyds think so too — & better 

Letter 128: 

^ Lucy Jackson, daughter of the former Bishop of London, John Jackson 

^ Elsie Butler was about to marry Richard Burton Phillipson. 

^ Etta and Maysie. 

* Charles Butler accepted a commission in the Greek army during the war 
with Turkey. Though he had failed in many activities before going and was 
being supported by Etta, he stayed in the Greek army until his retirement. 


than living idly on his mother. Mr. Fletcher has been trying 
hard to find him brewery work but every one says the same, 
the supply is greater than the demand. I think the fighting is 
very hopeless & will soon stop, but he will have a real taste of 
war first. With my love I am 

Yr very affectionate sister 

Nothing in Guardian. 

12^. <tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 


Posimark: Shrewsbury / My 24 97; address: S. Butler Esq. / Poste Restante / 

Rome / Italy. 

I don't feel as if I had anything to tell you, but you must 
not miss a line of some sort. House cleaning & hammers re- 
sound inside the house, & intervals of Queen's birthday bells ^ 
outside. I'm convinced we shall have a wet day for the wed- 
ding! Charlie has been to the front & in some of the fighting; 
he writes nicely to Newbury, & I think it may make a man 
of him. 

Ada is going to follow Elsie's example the last week in 
July, but leaves us a little sooner. I go to Portsmouth for a 
night after the wedding to see Dora & Matron, & then to 
Shere, where I shall find Alice & Molly with Gertrude & we 
shall enjoy being all together. I think I may be back here for 
the Jubilee time.^ How nice it will be when all the excitements 
are over. I hope you are catching no more colds & having no 
more earthquakes. I hear charming accounts of Elsie's new 
home from some one who knows it well, as very lovely & 
very healthy & very economical. What can be more to be 

^May wrote at the top of this postcard: "Elsie wrote with much pleasure & 
satisfaction of your present." 

Letter 129: 

^ Queen Victoria was 79 on May 24, 1897. 

^ The Queen's Diamond Jubilee on June 22, 1897. 


desired. She is one of the *4ucky ones" of life, so I think it is 
sure to turn out right! Yr very affectionate sister 

May Butler 

i^o, (tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 


Postmark: Shrewsbury / JU 17 97; address: S. Butler Esq. / Hotel des Alpes / 

Wasen / Canton Uri / Switzerland. 


June 17. 1897. 
The days pass by most uneventfully, but a line to tell of 
our well-being shall not fail you at Wasen. H. & I have just 
returned from tea at Portland House,^ where we met Nelly 
Adam, pretty but far from strong & May Hall (Bather) — 
It is so cold that we thought about a fire, & it was almost a 
disappointment to find the indoor temperature will hardly 
authorise it. On Sunday the therm, was 80° & we were all 
baking. Elsie writes very happily. We are expecting a little 
visit from Guy Bridges ^ in a week or two, we always like him 
to come. I think I am stationary here till about the middle of 
July when I may find courage to begin my career of outing 
again. Ernest is hoping to get an Irish magistracy, a better 
thing than his post at York, though not one that I should 
covet. He & George have had a fortnight in Ireland together. 
The Bathers are back at Meole for the last time, & Bessie 
fairly well again. He has a place on the steps of St. Paul's as 
representative of the Hereford chapter. We send you our love, 
& shall probably not write again till you return. Your very 
affecte. sister 

M Butler. 

Charlie is still at Athens, waiting orders, but will probably 
return if peace is signed. 

Letter 130; 

^ Home of George Arthur Bell, Belvidere Road, Shrewsbury. 

^ Guy Bridges (b. 1863), Harrie's nephew, first son of Thomas "Walker Bridges. 


iji, "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Garnett, pp. 218-219. 

15 Clifford's Inn 
London, E. C. 
Oct. 16 [1898].^ 
Dear May, 

One line to return enclosed. I will come to afternoon tea 
soon after four on Tuesday — but will stay at the George. 

Of course we all know what Anne [Wade] would be in 
sickness. One only grieves that such people should ever have 
any illness at all. Pray keep me informed as to what money 
may be welcome to her in every comfort that may become 
necessary. I do not care two straws how much it may be, and 
am only thankful to have it in case it may be wanted. 

Your affectionate brother, 
S. Butler. 

1^2, "Butler to ^May 

Text: British Museum MS. Extracts published: Memoir, II, 299. 

[15 Clifford's Inn] 
Jany4 [1899] 
My dear May 

I did not return from Boulogne till Friday, the sea was so 
rough that one day the boat went over to Folkestone, could 
not land, & had to come back, and another day it did not 
go at all, so I waited till the sea was only moderately rough, 
& left Jones behind me for a couple of days more. He is 
better, but still far from what he should be. I am all right, 
but my feet which gave me no trouble at Boulogne became 
troublesome again, as they always do on my return — I am 
getting more & more convinced that nervous exhaustion is 
three parts of the battle. 

Letter 131; 

^Garnett reads 1808, an obvious misprint. 


Your's of Dec. 26 was forwarded to me — thank you, and 
many happy New Years to you both — I have been deluged 
with Italian letters — two of them requiring long troublesome 
answers. An old Italian member of parliament keeps wanting 
all sorts of details about the London School board — all of 
which I have to find out, and it worries me for it is out of my 
beat. Then another wants all sorts of questions answered about 
the Odyssey let alone the numerous New Years letters that I 
have to answer. On Friday evening, too, I went to the Messiah 
— done at last without Mozart's accompaniments, as I trust 
henceforward it always will be, but I am free to confess that 
in only one place "The people that walked," should I have 
known whether they were there or not. 

I have had a note from Ada, all very nice, & will answer it. 

And now for a piece of news. Alfred saw Alice Leamar's ^ 
name announced to appear at the Metropolitan Music Hall, 
so I sent him to see if it was the old Alice Leamar whom we 
suppose, I cannot doubt correctly, to be our niece by mar- 
riage. Alfred (He) was there last night, and knew her per- 
fectly well; she seemed in excellent health. Now what are we 
to think of the story of her death which reached us from our 
precious Nephew? It looks very much as if he had been con- 
templating bigamy with the other young lady to whom you 
informed me that he had been making up, and whose father 
stopped the match. One must not jump to conclusions, but 
I believe that man to be such an utter scoundrel that I do 
not think I am doing him much wrong if I suspect that the 
story of his wife's death was a pure fabrication of his own. 
It is too disgusting altogether to have any sort of connection 
(f> with a nephew of whom you have no sort of confidence 
that he will not attempt bigamy at any moment. All, how- 
ever that I know for certain is that Alice Leamar is alive and 
well; that he declared himself married to her; declared her 
to be dead; & was carrying on with a young lady to whom 
I understood you to say he was engaging himself. 

Letter 132: 

^ Charles Butler was married to Alice Leamar, from whom he had long ago 


I don't think I have any more news, but that is surely- 
enough. With love to Harrie believe me Yr affte. brother 

S. Butler— 

i^^. <tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Jan. 5. 1899. 
Dearest Sam 

Your news is — hardly suprising [5/V] — but important, and 
I am afraid now the information must have originated with 
C [harles] for she would hardly dare to come to life again in 
her own name! I suppose there is no doubt that it is Alice. 
There was a sister, also A, but I think she married & left the 
staff. Of course one never had much faith in the report, but 
I had rather it had been circulated by her. I am afraid he will 
never come to any good. Since the episode of the cheque we 
have had no intercourse. 

You clearly had bigger storms than we, but the Severn 
has been in higher flood than for some years. Today we have 
had Jack & Maud to lunch, & Connie, & the Mackays. George 
& Tommy were hunting. He is growing such a handsome boy, 
and I've been since at a Dogpole Home ^ "tea," & had a class — 
so am tired. 

We have told Maysie of your news. They ought to know 
it. I heard of Anne today, her leg often very painful, partly 
rheumatism in it, & being galvanised which does it good, but 
she is up in the kitchen a good deal, tho' she cannot walk 
without help. She sent us sausages today. 

Our love. I am always 

Your very affectionate sister 

Letter 133; 

^Wilding's Directory of Shrewsbury, 1893, lists a "training home" at 8 Dogpole. 


J 3 4- 'Sutler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 


Postmark: Bologna, 15 MAG '99; address: Miss Butler / Wilderhope House/ 

Shrewsbury / Inghilterra. 

Hotel S. Lorenzo, Verona, [Italy] 
Mond. May 15 [1899] 
My dear May 

Your's of May 10 reached me at Venice which we left this 
morning. Thank you very much. I am glad to hear that there 
has been a pretty steady warm rain for my trees — May is I 
believe the month in which they want it most. I had a sharp 
attack of lumbago for 3 days in Venice which is now quite 
gone, but which almost crippled me while it lasted. My feet 
are hardly troubling me at all. We go on to Bergamo tomorrow 
and spend one day there, reach Turin (Hotel Suisse) on 
Thursd. May 18. Sat. May 20 — Frid. May 26 we shall be at 
Hotel Giacosa, S. Pietro, S. Ambrogio, Turin, but shall leave 
on the last named day for Chambery. Sat. May 27 we reach 
Paris — stay there two days & return to London Tuesd., May 
30. Unless you write to S. Pietro, you had better not write 
till my return. 

Most (some) men can do a great many things better than 
most women. Most women can do a great many things better 
than most men; but some men can do the woman things as 
well as but not better than most women, & some women can 
do the man things as well as but not better than most men — 
that is the long & short of the whole matter. 

Jones unites in k. regards. Yr. affte. brother 

S. Butler 


i)^, <tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Hound House. 
Ju. 2^. 1899. 
Dearest Sam 

It is not easy to write letters more than one can help once 
one is out visiting, but I want to send you a little line from 
this pretty place. You know the beautiful lie of the country. 
It is blazing hot, looks like thunder. If not we are going up 
to the woods in the cool by & bye — I had a nice time at West- 
minster, didn't try to do much sight seeing, contented my- 
self with a Richter concert,^ where I am sorry to say Bee- 
thoven's Pastoral Symphony didn't please me after a *first 

part' of Wagner & Teh which would probably not 

have pleased you. But it's no good. I do like Wagner. I went 
to the Tate Gallery, & to a Lambeth Garden party, not so 
pretty as a Fulham one,^ & now I am here. Alice is here, hoping 
to get into her own pretty house next month. It will be very 
pretty, but at present has the garden all to make. Fred is ex- 
pected this evening. Herbert & Gertrude hospitable & kind as 
usual, & their garden charming — On Thursday I go to Mr. 
Robinson ^ who was curate of Meole, & married a Miss Side- 
botham, for a night at Busbridge near Godalming, & then on 
to Cathedral Hotel Salisbury for two or three days. I want to 
see Guy's new home, & something of Mr. Sidebotham & Ga- 
brielle who are not yet settled enough to take me in. Then 
back by Clifton, Aunt Sarah & the Bathers at Hereford. 

My love to you dear Sam. I have been a bit rheumatic & 
hope your feet have not been worse for the heat. Oh — I saw 

"Letter 135; 

^ Near London. 

^A popular concert series, directed by Hans Richter (1843-1916). 

^ May compares the garden party of the Archbishop of Canterbury unfavorably 
with that of the Bishop of London. 

* Albert Gossage Robinson (1863-1948), rector of Busbridge, Surrey, at this 
time; he married Edith Sidebotham in 1896. 


your Mr. Fuller Maitland ^ at the concert, not to speak to; 
he looks nice. Bee stays there, & says he gives such pleasant 

Your very affectionate sister 

M Butler 

Alice & Gertrude send you their love. 

1)6. "Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Stationery imprinted: samuel butxer. ij, Cliffords inn, London, e. c. 


July 24 1899 
My dear May 

I am afraid I owe both Harrie & you a letter, and must ask 
Harrie's forgiveness if it is to her that I ought to pay my 
debt more especially. 

I am sorry your feet have been troubling you — mine, I am 
happy to say, have hardly put themselves in evidence at all 
since my return, & if they would stay like this I should not 
think about them. Curiously enough poor Alfred has at times 
complained of his a good deal — but he too is better, and today 
he and his wife & children have started to Boscombe for a 
three week's holiday, and I have little doubt will return 
greatly the better. If the wife and children can be prevailed 
upon to stay a week on by themselves, after his return, they 
are to do so, but Mrs. Cathie wd not do so last year & we are 
afraid she will again be recalcitrant. 

I did not go to the Bishop's first garden party ^ being par- 
ticularly pressed to go to Miss Sichel's ^ on that day — so I went 

^ See note 2 for Letter 113. 

'Letter i}6: 

^ The Bishop of London, Mandell Creighton (1843-1901), gave a garden 
party on Saturday, July i, 1899. The bishop admired Butler's work. (See Memoir, 
II, 175-177.) 

^ Edith Sichel (1862-1914), a writer to whom Butler's sonnet "Not on Sad 
Stygian Shore" is addressed. 


to the second garden party instead, on Saturday last — all very 
gay and pretty, but fearfully hot, and a tremendous thunder 
storm later on in the night. Yesterday & this morning it was 
delightfully cooler, but this afternoon it has come on to blaze 

I go to Cambridge on Thursday for the inside of a day 
to take my book to the press ^ — it will be printed in Cam- 
bridge. It seems to me that I have done for the Sonnets much 
what I have done for the Odyssey, i.e., upset every one's apple- 
cart all round, & I do not anticipate being faced or refuted, 
and shall be disagreeably surprised if I find myself convinced 
of serious error. 

Poor Aunt Sarah! ^ I am extremely sorry for her — but if she 
lives till the time comes for her to move, no doubt the same 
people whom she has been living with will take her with them, 
and I should hope that the shock will not be so great as one 
might fear — but I am very sorry to hear of her having any 
shock at all. 

The last child story — ^perfectly true. 

**And you know, Daisy, when the cake is handed round 
for the first time, you may take any piece — a large piece if 
you like. When it comes round a second time you may take a 
small piece, but when it comes round a third time you must 
say *no thank you.' " 

The party being over. Mamma said **Well now, Daisy, did 
you do as I said about the cake?" 

"Yes Mamma, — at first: when the cake came round for the 
first time there was a nice big piece quite near me, so I took 
it: and the second time I took a little piece & the third time 
I said *no thank you'; but it came round a fourth time & you 
did not tell me what I was to say then." 

"And my dear what did you say?" 

"Oh — I said what papa says — ^Take the d d thing 

away!' " Tableau. 

^Shakespeare's Sonnets Reconsidered, published by Longmans, Green; the printing 
was done in Cambridge by Metcalfe & Co., at Butler's expense. 
* Sarah Worsley. (See Biographical Sketches.) 


With love to Harrie believe me 

Your affte. brother 
S. Butler— 

IT, J, <iMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Oct. lo. 1899. 
My dearest Sam 

You will like to hear that I am at home again — and I hope, 
decidedly the better for all the Bath experiences. It is difficult 
to tell yet how much good it has done, but I feel hopeful, and 
if it does seem to have improved matters much, shall try to 
do it again in the spring. 

Dr. King Martyn '^ was very kind. Did I tell you that he 
brought me in his sister's lovely etchings to see, and the last 
evening he asked me into tea, and showed me many pictures, 
and we had a little music. I copied for him a few of the notes 
which he liked. 

I saw Mrs. Inman ^ two or three times, and played to her, 
& I think we liked each other! I liked her very much. She gives 
such an impression of truth and strength. 

Harrie thinks to go south next week. When are you and 
Alfred going to come to Shrewsbury? I will make you very 
welcome. And you shall read my essay on how to read! — 
which has just come out in a little book for girls called Life's 
Possibilities edited by Mrs. Draper.^ 

We had a very good & cheery account of Anne today from 
Annie James, tho' I think she has now got to her high water 

Letter i}y: 

"^Gilbert John King Martyn (1869-19 50), a physician who practiced at Bath. 

^ Mrs. Thomas Frederick Inman, daughter of Samuel Tillbrook, a correspondent 
of Dr. Butler's, sister of Philip Tillbrook. (See note 4 for Letter 115.) Her 
husband was a solicitor at Bath. 

^ May contributed "Our Silent Companions," an essay on the virtues of reading 
books — especially religious books — to Life's 'Possibilities: A Book for Girls, ed. by 
E. A. Draper (1899). Mrs. Draper was the wife of the pastor of the Church of 
the Holy Cross, Shrewsbury. (See note for Letter 127.) 


mark. She told us also that Mrs. Wood has been taken to the 
Asylum, since which the house is much more comfortable. 
One would not have wondered had it been he. We have made 
a delightful new acquaintance in a young Mr. Coates who 
lives in the parish, he is a clerk at Lloyd's bank, but quite 
a gentleman, d)C 6 it 6V2I He is very tame & sociable & "thinks 
it is kind of us to notice him." 

Our parlour maid's young man is just ordered out with the 
Reserve to Africa, & she has gone to bid him farewell. I 
wonder whether we shall fight after all! or whether our great 
preparations will scare the Boers. The papers are very interest- 
ing. While at Bath I took the Times for a treat. We heard from 
Harry & Ada yesterday. The orange-trees were prospering 
greatly under unusual heat, 104 in the shade, & they hoped 
to make about £30 this year, but they both feel the great 
heat, & the constant uncertainty a great strain of nerves. 

I don't know whether Charlie has gone back to Greece yet. 
It was to be soon. He seems to have behaved quite well while 
at home. 

I think this is all, dear Sam. Much love to you, & kind mes- 
sages to Mr. Jones of whom Dr. King Martyn speaks very 
warmly. Harrie sends her love to you too 

Your very affectionate sister 
May Butler 

1)8. "Butler to <iMay 

Text: Chapln Library MS. 

Postmark: Siracusa Reggio Calabria, AP 26 00; address: Miss Butler /2J. Gay- 
Street / Bath / England; picture: Taormina. 

Taormina, Sicily, Italy 
Hotel Timeo 
Ap. 26 (Thursd.) 1900 
My dear May — ^Yrs. of Ap 20 reached me yesterday after- 
noon. I hope the baths may do you as much good as our outing 
is doing to Jones & me. Weather lovely. I have decided to run 
over to Malta, to see some prehistoric remains in the island 


of Gozo. So I may meet Henry Bather. My address will be 
Hotel Centrale, Palermo, Sicily, Italy at which place we ex- 
pect to arrive on or about May 6. This is the best post-card 
the place affords. They were much better at Genoa. Pray give 
our kindest regards to Dr. King Marytyn [i.e., Martyn] and 
Jones desires to be very kindly remembered to yourself. Be- 
lieve me Yr. affte. brother S. Butler. 

i}^. 'Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 


Postmark: Malta, MY 7; address: Miss Butler 725. Gay Street / Bath / England; 

vignetted photograph: Strada St. Lucia; Butler has written near the picture: 

"Our hotel is in this street." 

Sund. May 6. 1900. 

Hotel Imperial, Malta 
— Yours of Ap. 27 reached me a day or two before we left 
for Malta — and I hope this will catch you before you return, 
or at any rate be duly forwarded. We left Taormina last Wed. 
and reached Malta soon after midnight; Jones was very ill — 
crawling to the Custom house with support. They said "Are 
you a British subject?'* He replied most piteously "You would 
not think it to look at me, but I am." He is now better. I 
have seen the prehistoric remains in this island, & also those 
in Gozo — very imposing and interesting. The picture cards 
are not coloured, with few and unattractive exceptions. We 
have not run across Henry Bather and his party, and fear we 
shall hardly do so, for we shall return to Syracuse tomorrow if 
the weather holds fair. Malta is not picturesque — too glaring 
and oriental and dusty, but I am very glad to have seen it. 
Pray give Jones's & my love to Dr. K.M.^ & my profoundest 
respects to Mrs. Inman. 

Yr. affte. brother 

S— B. 

Letter 139; 

^ Dr. King Martyn. 


140. "Butler to <iMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 


Postmark: illegible except the figures 00; address: Miss Butler / Wilderhope 

House /Shrewsbury / Inghilterra; picture: Napoli, Palazzo Donn Anna. 

Hotel Giacosa, S. Pietro, S. Ambrogio. 

Valle di Susa — Italy — 

Sund. June 3. [1900] 
My dear May — Yours of May 29 reached me this morning. 
Thank you. Yes — pray take as much potting soil as you want, 
and of course don't let Bather ^ charge you! The word "ne- 
gociating" alarms me. We are weather bound here — pouring 
steady rain yesterday & today so that we cannot paint. We 
expect to be back on Mond. 11, so I give no address. Yr. 
affte. Brother S. Butler — 

141, (tMay to 'Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Monday, July 2. [1900] 
Dearest Sam 

We are wondering how & when we shall see you? Tomor- 
row there is a garden party & sale of work at the Council 
House in the afternoon at which it beseems us both to be 
present if we can. On Wednesday / do not think to go to the 
speeches.^ The rheumatism is giving way now, but it has 
been so bad that I will not sit in tents. Harrie hopes to be there 
if fine. You will probably be dining at the School, & will want 
to go back to Shelton & dress. 

But do you think that you could come to us for either 
luncheon or tea which ever suits you best, on Thursday? — 

Letter 140: 

^ John T. Bather, Butler's property manager. 

Letter 141: 

^Shrewsbury School Speech Day, Wednesday, July 4, 1900. 


Yesterday Mrs. Moss brought in a rather taking Mr. & Mrs. 
Bolleston, from N. 2, who hoped they might have found you 
here — he said he was the man who told you there was ''the 
lake" to wash in. He left the enclosed card for you — was leav- 
ing today — we decidedly liked them. He seemed really sorry 
to miss you, and hoped to look you up before leaving England 
in September. 

One of his sons is in the N. Z. contingent at the Cape. Our 
love, dearest Sam. I hope I shall see you somehow. 

Your very affectionate sister 

142, <tMay to "Sutler 

Text: British Museum MS. 

Oct. 24, 1900. 
Dearest Sam 

Thank you very much. I shall enjoy reading it ^ in my soli- 
tary evenings, and Harrie will thank you too — it looks en- 

I have done very little more Greek since you left — days 
have been busy. 

Dick & Elsie were very nice and they also spoke with pleas- 
ure of your visit to them. I thought Elsie looking much older, 
& not well. I don't think she is at all strong. They have gone 
on to Peniarth — uchaf ^ — another Wynne household — & then 
to Peniarth proper. 

Good accounts of Harrie who had Georgie with her. 

I have actually stopped the Evening paper. Things are so 
little exciting just now! 

They got the Colchester fire under in about an hour, but 

Letter 142: 

^ Probably Butler's translation of the Odyssey, the first copy of which he re- 
ceived on October 18, 1900. 

^ Richard and Elsie (Butler) Phillipson were visiting at Peniarth-uchaf and 
Peniarth, both towns near Towyn, Merioneth, in Wales. 


it was a lively time for the prisoners — as the prison was next 
door to the fire ^ the ammunition! I was reading a day or 
two ago of the falling at 5 o'clk one morning (1545) of the 
great tower & gate which once stood on the English bridge,^ 
I gather in consequence of a very heavy flood. It fell quite 
unexpectedly, & in it was a locked up prisoner fettered & 
chained, whose escape was considered so marvellous that they 
promptly let him go free. 

I meant to have taken great pains with my calligraphy in 
my next letter to you, & forgot! You deserve it, for your 
writing is so lovely when you take pains, & I can write nicely. 
Much love, dear Sam, you were very good to me. 

Your very affectionate sister 


14^, ^May to 'Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 


Postmark: Shrewsbury FE j oi; address: S. Butler Esq. /i5' Clifford's Inn/ 

London / E. C. 

Feb. 5. 
It seems some time since you heard, but there has been 
only one thought in all English heads & hearts.^ Harrie too 
has been in bed for ten days with an odd cold which neither 
got better nor worse. Yesterday it began to get distinctly 
worse, & she is in a state of kettle, poultice &c, not seriously 
bad so far, but one never likes her to begin. The doctor sus- 
pects influenza, but I have not breathed that to her. If you 
do not hear for a day or two take for granted all is going on 
right, but she won't be well just yet — I hope you keep better. 
My love, yr. very aflfte. sister 

M Butler. 

* The English Bridge over the Severn at Shrewsbury replaced an earlier bridge. 
The incident to which May refers is related by Thomas Phillips, The History and 
Antiquities of Shrewsbury (Shrewsbury, 1779), p. 149. 

Letter 143: 

^ Queen Victoria died on January 22, 1901. 


144- 'Bw/Z^r to <iMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Postmark: London 21 OC 01; address: Miss Butler / Wilderhope House / Shrews- 
bury; imprinted: mr. samuel butler. 15, Clifford's inn, London, e. c. 

Oct. 21. 1901 
My dear May One line to say how very glad I am to have so 
much better an account of Harrie & yourself. I hope now 
that with this mild weather you will both come round com- 

I have had a very gratifying review of Er: Rev: in the last 
Friday's Athenaeum.^ If the Spectator & Guardian ^ are very 
angry with me, as I fear they will be, I must shelter myself 
behind the Times ^ & Athenaeum — I should like to please 
every one, but that Alas! I cannot do — With love to you 
both believe me Yr. affte. brother 

S. Butler— 

145. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Stationery imprinted: samuel butler. 15, Cliffords inn, London, e. c. 


Jan 6 1901 [i.e., 1902] 
My dear May, 

Your's of Dec. 30 greeted me on my return from Boulogne 
where Jones & I spent a quiet but comfortable Christmas. I 
returned last Monday, & Jones on Wednesday. Feeling ill next 
day he got up to his sister's — where he was expected — but no 
sooner had he arrived than it was plain that he had better 
go to bed. Next morning instead of being better as was ex- 

Letter 144: 

^ A long, highly favorable review in which Butler ("one of the striking writers 
of our time") is compared to Swift and Defoe appeared in the Athenaeum, 
October 19, 1901, pp. 517-518. 

^ The Spectator, 88 (February 8, 1902), 223, found Erewhon Revisited a poor 
fulfillment of the promise of Erewhon. The Guardian did not review it. 

^ A favorable review, which calls Erewhon Revisited "a worthy sequel to 
'Erewhon'" in most respects, appeared in the Times, October 9, 1901, p. 5. 


pected he was much worse & the doctor on being sent for 
declared him to have got pneumonia, the effects of a chill. 
Next day Sir Douglas Powell ^ was also called in, and, though 
happily he takes a favourable view of the case, he says it will 
be four days yet before the crisis arrives. Today I have had 
fairly satisfactory accounts from his sister. I have been up 
to Hampstead where she lives, twice, but we both thought 
I had better not see him as the least thing agitates him. Of 
course he has a day & night nurse. I thought a good deal better 
of his head when he was at Boulogne, until the last day when 
I was again made somewhat uneasy. The doctors say his heart 
is strong & this it is that makes them take so decidedly hopeful 
a view as they do. 

My troubles are somewhat added to by the visit to London 
of an excellent Italian whom I have to attend to, and do 
attend to. Had Jones been well, he would have helped me 
with him, for he is as much a friend to Jones as to me. Fortu- 
nately he speaks a little English & Alfred can help me to take 
him about to some extent. 

I am extremely sorry to hear about poor little Patrick's ^ 
elbow, & should be glad to hear how Tom Bridges' ^ arm is. 
Please excuse more & believe me with love to Harrie 

Yr. affte. brother 
S— Butler— 

146, <tMay to "Butler 

Text: British Museum MS. 


Feb. 17. 1902 
Dearest Sam 

I do not quite remember when either of us wrote last, but 
we think you should hear, though you may have seen it in the 

Letter i4y. 

^Richard Douglas Powell (1842-1925), a physician who attended Queen 
Victoria in her last illness. 

^ Patrick Butler, son of Harry and Ada, in Florida at this time. 

^ Tom Bridges (1871-1934), at this time a captain in the Royal Army; he 
was wounded in the arm in South Africa. 


paper of Mrs. How's death at Nearwell. It all came very 
suddenly. She was out & well a fortnight ago. It was some 
stoppage. They tried operation, but she could not stand the 
chloroform, & they had to give it up. Nothing else could be 
done, and she died on Saturday morning — and is buried this 
afternoon. — 

It is still very cold, and I hear that the river is about frozen 
over. We are both well, though neither of us get out much. 
Harrie not at all. A -much better account of little Patrick 
came a few days ago, with nicely written & spelt notes from 
them both to their grandmother. They had had a freeze 
though — which had hurt badly some of the younger trees — 
& damaged some of the older — but the older trees seem able 
to stand a good deal. I only hope they have not had a return 
of it. Tom Bridges is a little better too. Poor Dick & Elsie are 
much troubled by Mrs. Phillipson,^ who announced that she 
was going to remain over the event, & has now in a huff 
moved herself into one bedroom somewhere in Colchester & 
won't give the address. Dick thinks she is off her head. I am 
afraid it will be very worrying for them both, but Elsie seems 
well so far. It does not happen till the middle of March. — 

We saw the Spectator & your answer.^ Probably you know 
who wrote the review (we don't) but we were a little sorry 
you said about the he & she, however true the she — as your 
letter seemed to lose a little dignity by it. 

Jane Lloyd holds her own through this cold weather, but of 
course cannot make much progress. She has been in the draw- 
ing room. We are glad Mr. Jones is better. Did those sea gulls 
attack a stray passer's fish, or the man who feeds them? I read 
something about them the other day. Here we have a cocoanut 

Letter 146: 

^Dick's mother. 

^The reviewer of Erewhon Revisited in the Spectator (February 8, 1902, 
p. 223) questions Butler's assertion in his Preface that the Spectator received 
Erewhon favorably in 1872. Quoting a statement from that review, the reviewer 
applies it to Erewhon Revisited: if one were to follow the moral of either book 
he would be nowhere. In a letter which appeared on February 15, 1902 (p. 253), 
Butler insisted that the review of Erewhon had been favorable, except for a final 
"reviewer's kick" which he, or she, gave the book, and he expresses great indig- 
nation at the reviewer's suggestion that he intended his moral to lead nowhere. 


for the tits, filled with fat & quickly eaten since the cocoanut 
got frozen. It is very pretty to see them & they are insatiable. 
Harold Fisher, Lucy Jackson's ^ nephew who was besieged in 
Ladysmith ^ has just come home, & arrived in his Essex village 
after dark. He had to submit to having the carriage dragged 
by the villagers along the slippery road, first to the church for 
a short thanksgiving service, and then all round the village, the 
carriage decorated with chinese lanterns & and [sic] rockets 
going off at intervals. He was allowed to go home & supper 
at lo. 

Talking of Africa, we heard a nice account of a visit of one 
of the Aliens' relations to the little King of Uganda who 
received her in great state (then 4 years old) & "reviewed 
his warriors" in her honour, but seeing her with a little picture 
book got on her lap to look at the pictures. Goodbye, dear 
Sam, don't catch cold, or rheumatism. I tried rheumatism in- 
side, lately, & it isn't nice, but I'm quite well now. Love from 
us both 

Your very affectionate sister 

May Butler 

I hope Alfred will soon get his little son back. 

14/. "Butler to <s!May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 


Postmark: Palermo 4-02; address: Miss Butler / Wilderhope House / Shrewsbury / 


Hotel de France, 


Thursd. Ap. 17 [1902] 
Dear May 

Your's of Ap. 9. has only reached me after much blunder- 
ing this morning. I got here last Saturday, & broke down 

*See note i for Letter 128. 

*The garrison at Ladysmith, South Africa, was praised for its gallant stand 
against the Boers in 1 899-1900. 


again at once — sent for doctor, — gastric fever — temp. 41 
Celsius ^ (whatever that may mean) : bed ever since: milk 
diet: aconite; ^ and this morning am pronounced to be quite 
normal both as regards temperature & pulse. Am still very- 
weak: shall stay here a few days & come home at once. Now 
we know why I have been losing strength & flesh for months 
past. It is certain I have had this fever latent in me all the 
time. There is no reason why it should not be got (right) rid 
of. The F. Maitlands ^ visit me & are very kind, but our joint 
journey is at an end. The first strength I can regain will be 
spent in travelling homeward. Love to Harrie 


S— Butler 

148. "Butler to ^May 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 


Postmark: Palermo Ferrovia i8 4—02; address: Miss Butler / Wilderhope House/ 

Shrewsbury / Inghilterra. 

Hotel de France, 

Frid. Ap. i8. 1902 
My dear May 

There is not the slightest trace of fever left — temperature 
& pulse quite normal, but digestive organs much insulted, & 
until they are pacified I cannot move— for the diarrhaea will 
not leave me till what food I take is properly digested. Please 
address to Hotel Vettoria, Rome. I have not smoked for close 
on a week! Pray believe me that there is no cause for anxiety 
now that the fever has behaved so excellently — on Saturday 
the doctor was not sure that I was not on the point of serious 
illness. Love to Harrie — 

Yr. affte. brother S. Butler 

Letter 147; 

^ 105.8° Fahrenheit. 

^ A sedative. 

^The Fuller-Maitlands. (See note 2 for Letter 113.) 


149' 'B^^^^^ ^o <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Postmark: Palermo 19 4—02; address: Miss Butler / Wilderhope House / Shrews- 
bury / Inghilterra. 

Hotel de France, 

Sat. Ap. 19. [1902] 
My dear May 

Pray believe that I am in good hands & going on quite 
nicely, but it will be some few days before I can turn my 
face homeward. The F. Maitlands visit me daily & she is to 
make me arrowroot this afternoon. I have no fever — and the 
stomach is gradually regaining tone. When the F. Maitland's 
go, the Consul is to take me in tow & see to my embarking 
comfortably &c. When I get to Rome I shall probably send 
for Alfred, but I will not have him here. The doctor says it 
will take many months of care & quiet before I shake this 
off. Love to Harrie 

Yr. affte brother 
S. Butler— 

150. 'Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 


Postmark: Palermo Ferrovia 21 4-02; address: Miss Butler / Wilderhope House/ 

Shrewsbury / Inghilterra. 

Mond. Ap. 21. [1902] 
Hotel Trinacria 
My dear May 

I am not the worse today for yesterday's move — on the 
contrary I am sitting up in my clothes to write letters and 
shall go down stairs shortly. The F. Maitland's are on the 
same floor — & very good. It will be another three or four days 


before I can go back to Naples — but I am going on quite 
nicely — tongue getting clean, & temperature rather below- 
normal. Please excuse more and if you do not hear tomorrow 
assume that everything is going on normally. Love to Harrie 

Yr. affte. brother 
S— Butler— 

151. "Butler to <tMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 

Postmark: Palermo 22 4-02; address: Miss Butler / Wilderhope House / Shrews- 
bury / Inghilterra. 

Hotel Trinacria, 

Tuesd. Ap. 22 [1902] 
One line to say that I am dressed, down stairs, & writing 

in the sala di lettura, but still very weak. I shall make a push 

to start for Rome on Thursd., but I expect it will be Friday. 

No more Sicily for me if you please. It is a horrid place to be 

ill in. Love to Harrie. Yr. affte. brother 

S— Butler 

Address: Hotel Vettoria Rome. 

152. Sutler to <LMay 

Text: Chapin Library MS. 


Postmark: Napoli Ferrovia ij 5-02; address: Miss Butler / Wilderhope House/ 

Shrewsbury / Inghilterra. 

Bertolini's Palace Hotel 


Wed. May 14 [1902] 
My dear May 

Alfred starts today & we hope that I & he & the nurse will 
do so on Saturday. She will probably leave me at Basle. The 
doctor evidently expects that I shall reach London alive — but 


I do not think he thinks that I have many months — if weeks 
to live after I get there — no more do L Love to Harrie. Yr. 
affte. brother 

S. Butler— 

I J}. "Butler to ^May 

Text'. Chapin Library MS. 


Vostmark: illegible; address: Miss Butler / Wilderhope House / Shrewsbury / 


Bertolini's Palace Hotel, 


Frid. — ^May 16 1902 
My dear May 

Alfred is expected hourly but is not yet come. The Doctor 
is to see him, nurse, & me off and give us a start — tomorrow 
by the quick train. I cannot say what our route will be till 
I know by what route Cook's recommended Alfred to take 
his return ticket. I must send this off before he can come — 
The doctor vows I shall get home alive, & I think he takes 
rather less gloomy view of what will then happen in the 
immediate future, but we must wait & see Dudgeon ^ to whom 
Dr. Gairdner ^ is writing today. But I confess I dread the 
journey. No more please love to Harrie your affte. brother 

S— Butler— ^ 

Letter 155; 

^Butler's physician in London. (See note 4 for Letter 89.) 

^William Tennant Gairdner (1824— 1907), an English physician who retired 
to Italy in 1900 and practiced there. 

'Butler returned to a nursing home in London; he died on June 18, 1902. 



Academy, and Alps and Sanctuaries, 
98n., ii6 
and Unconscious Memory, ii6 
Evolution, Old and New reviewed 

by Grant Allen in, i42n. 
and SB's letter on Holbein, i69n., 
172-173, 176 
Acireale, earthquake at, 219 
Ada. See Butler, Mrs. Henry- 
Adam, Nelly, 226 
Adnitt and Naunton (Shrewsbury 

publishers), 205n. 
Afghanistan, and English politics, 76- 

Africa, fighting in, 76, 235, 238, 24 in., 

Ainger, Alfred, life of Charles Lamb 

inspires SB's Ulysses, 162 
Alexander, Francis Paul Charles Louis, 

Prince of Teck, 49 
Alfred. See Cathie, Alfred Emery 
All the Year Round, SB urges May to 

write for, 45 
Allen, Grant, 85n. 

SB's controversy with, 142—143, 152 
acknowledges influence of Evolution, 
Old and New, 152 
Alps and Sanctuaries (1882), grew out 
of SB's sketches, 7 
Gogin drew human figures in, 12 
SB's theory of family in, 24 
SB works on: at Prato, 68-69; at 

Giornico, 72; at Mesocco, 81; at 

Sant'Ambrogio, 89-90 
progress on, 88, 92, 96n. 
and landlady's English, 89-90 
and politically agreeable priest, 90 
reviews of, 98 
Bishop Tozer admires, 104 
not announced by Athenaeum and 

Academy, 116 
known in Italian Alps, 98, 145-147 
America, 109 

SB on emigration to, 162 
Anstey, Edgar Oliphant, killed, 76 
Apthorp, Susannah (SB's great-aunt), 

36, 37 
Arona, 145 
Athenaeum, review of Evolution, Old 

and New in, 8 1 
and Alps and Sanctuaries, 88n., 

98n., 116 
SB's quarrel with Romanes in, 115- 

116, 121, 125, 142, 171 
announced Selections but not Alps 

and Sanctuaries or Unconscious 

Memory, 116 
SB's letter on Bellini in, 150, 152—153 
SB declines to review Grant Allen's 

book in, 152 
SB's quarrel with Darwin in, 157, 

refuses SB's letter on Holbein, 170, 
171, 172-173 


Athenaeum {Continued) 

and Luck or Cunning?, i88 

SB's letters on Odyssey in, 21 in., 

212, 213 
review of Erewhon Revisited in, 240 
Athens, Charles Butler at, 226 
Atkinson, and emigrating, 162 
Australia, 84, 159 

Authoress of the Odyssey, The (1897), 

inception of and work on, 207n., 

208-209, 218 

SB's discovery of topography in, 211 

Penelope in, 218-219 

coin as supporting evidence for, 220 

Baedeker (guidebook), 90 

Baker, Talbot Hastings Bendall, 43 

Bangor, 5 6 

Barratt, Mother (Sarah Barrett?), 45 

Basaiti, Marco, 103 

Basel, 129, 130, 246 

Holbein drawing in, 169, 171 
SB sees Merian family in, 200—201, 

Bateson, William Henry, 37 

Bath, 234 

Bather, Bessie, health, 147, 168, 172, 
221, 226 
May to visit, 231 

Bather, Edward, 47, 168 

Bather, Henry, SB's father's land agent, 

wife, 153, ij6 
Bather, Henry Frances, 47n., 89, 226, 

Bather, John, death, 159 
Bather, John T., 237 

agent for SB at Harnage, 222 
Bather, Mary (SB's paternal aunt), 

47n., 148 
Bather, Rhoda, 147 
Battersea, i22n., 127 
Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli, created 
ist Earl of, 77n., 9on. 
SB reading his novels, 71—72 
SB's sorrow at death of, 95 
Beale, William Phipson, and Mrs. 
(Mary Thompson), 7on., 117, 197 
Beckenried, 207 

Beethoven, SB and Jones do not admire, 
May on Pastoral Symphony of, 231 
Bell, George Arthur, 226n. 

Bellini, Gentile and Giovanni, SB ad- 
mires, 50, 74 
SB's theory about their portrait, 150 
SB's letter about portrait to appear, 

Bellinzona, 145, 146, 166 

Bentley, Mrs., 96 

Bergamo, 10 1, 230 

Bernina, 128 

Besant, Walter, SB reads novel by, j8n. 
SB's father reads biography by, 105- 

Bingham, Notts., 8 on. 

Biographic Universelle, 200-201 

Biron, Henry Brydges, 39 

Blackwood, Frederick Temple Hamilton- 
Temple-, I St Marquis of DuflFerin 
and Ava, SB given introduction to, 

Blomfield, Charles James, Dr. Butler's 
quarrel with, 216 

Boadicea, 166 

Boer War, 235, 238, 243 

Tom Bridges wounded in, 241 

Bogue, David, 119 

commissions Alps and Sanctuaries, 

says Unconscious Memory most 
abused book, 95 

Boleyn, Anne, 166 

Bolleston, Mr. and Mrs., 238 

Bologna, 148 

Bookseller, review of Alps and Sanc- 
tuaries in, 98 

Bordighera, 56 

Bormio, 207 

Boscombe, 232 

Bottesini, Giovanni, concert at Shrews- 
bury, 174 

Botticelli, Sandro, 74, 87 

Boulogne, SB and Jones at, 138 
SB returns from, 227, 240 

Bradlaugh, Charles, loon. 

Bradshaw, John, vicar of Granby, 
Notts., 84 
death, 90 

Brera Gallery, Milan, 150 

Bridges, Frances Caroline (Carrie) . See 
Glover, Frances Caroline 

Bridges, George Lovibond (SB's brother- 
in-law), xix, 23, 41 

Bridges, Mrs. George Lovibond (Harrie, 
SB's sister), 35, 36, 40, 41, 56, 


59, 66, 8o, 97, 105, 109, no, 

III, I3J, 136, 157, 160, 168, 

174, 175-176, 177, 179, 181. 183. 

185, 189, 191, 193. 194. 201, 

205, 206, 210, 211, 213, 218, 

219, 2M. 229, i32, 234. 239, 

240, 241, 242, 244, 245, 246, 

biographical sketch, xviii-xix 
relationship to SB and family, 22-23 
tone of SB's letters to, 29 
SB and pianoforte of, 39 
SB to send Times to, 43 
SB's visits to, 64, 7} 
to read Prof. Mivart, 75 
SB seeks family news from, 86 
SB asks for father's photograph, 130 
SB asks not to discuss Miss Savage's 

death, 137 
SB gives financial advice to, 194- 

SB and photographs of, 198-199 
inherits money, 220—221 
Bridges, Guy (Harrie's nephew), 226 

May to visit, 231 
Bridges, Robert (Harrie's brother-in- 
law), xix, 23 
SB does not like, 48 
Bridges, Tom (Harrie's brother-in- 
law), wounded, 241, 242 
Bright, John, 124 

Bristol, home of Worsley family at, 
xviii, XX 
typhoid at, 100 
British Museum, 74, 83, 87, 98, 113, 
119, 156 
SB's correspondence given to, 3 
SB and Karl Marx in, 4 
renovated, 77, 78 

SB working regularly at, 77n., 117 
SB will give complete Dr. Butler to, 

210— 211, 216-217 
SB discovers Odyssey topography in, 
Brooke, Miss, 84, 165 
Brown, Ford Madox, 131— 132 
Brown, Madox, SB's interview with, i $— 

16, 131-132 
Brown, Oliver Madox, and SB, 131- 

Brown, young Mr., 73 
Browning, Robert, 130 
Brussels, Tom Butler and mistress at, 

XIX, 22, 93-94, 100, III 

Buckle, George Earle, ii7n. 

Buckley, Arabella, and information 

about Darwin, 9 in. 
Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc, comte 
de, ij2n. 
SB discovers his work, 74—75 
Burbury, Mrs., death, 224 
Burd, Dr. Henry Edward, 85, 112, 117, 
119, 124, 135, 136, 163, 179, 181- 
183, 185-187, 189-191, 224 
May objects to SB's comments on, 
Burne- Jones, Sir Philip, 80 
Burrough, Dr., 45 
Busbridge, 231 
Butcher, Augusta and Eleanor (sisters 

of S. H. Butcher), 215 
Butler, Charles (SB's nephew), 106, 130, 
134, 151, 163 
biographical sketch, xix 
SB's opinion of, 63, 228 
and Greek army, 221, 224-225, 226, 

wife reappears, 228—229 
Butler, Elsie. See Phillipson, Mrs. Rich- 
ard Burton 
Butler, Henry (Hal or Harry, SB's 
nephew), 86, 118, 139, 163, 235, 
biographical sketch, xix 
to marry, 113, ii8n. 
emigration of, 129, 159, 162 
Butler, Mrs. Henry (Ada Wheeler), 
xix, 225, 241 
and mother-in-law, 205—206 
reports from Florida, 228, 235 
Butler, Henry Montagu, SB's animosity 

toward, 218 
Butler, Mary (May, SB's sister), bio- 
graphical sketch, xix 
and literature, 7, 71, 79, 213—214 
and SB, 20—21, 24—29, 32 
and family finances, 21—22, 194- 

195, 220—221 
relationship to family, 21—23, 27-28, 

and SB's writing, 25—26, 54—55, 62— 

63, 65-66, 213-214, 242 
and her own writing, 26—27, 45, 234 
and Miss Savage, 28—29, ^37 
on painting, 79-80 
and family history, 94 


Butler, Mary (Continued) 

and home for girls, 9911., 108, no, 

on politics, 100, 239 

meets Jones, 123 

on music, 164, 174, 231 

on Elsie Phillipson, 221 
Butler, Mary (Maysie, SB's niece), 100, 
151, 218, 229 

biographical listing, xix 

eye trouble, y6, 163 

at Shrewsbury, 109, 213 

attends SB's father, 190, 192 
Butler, Patrick (SB's nephew), 241, 

Butler, Samuel (i 612-1680), SB re- 
fused to edit Hudibras by, 92 
Butler, Samuel (183 5-1902), self- 
induced stereotype of, 3-4 

catholic interests of, 6-7 

intellectual habits of, 7-10, 13-14 

public manner of, 14-15 

and Victorian Age, 15, 30-32 

concept of ideal life, 19—20 

on family, 20—25, 60—62 

one of his many interests, 7 
other opinions of his work in, 7, 

98n., i99n. 
and his poor visual sense of people, 

his confidence in Gogin in matters 

of, 17, 171 
SB and Victorian tastes in, 30-31, 

his own work in, 43, 44, 47, 49, 

J I, 52, 53, 57, 60, 64, 68-70, 

72, 87, 88, loi, 103, 105, 107, 

III, 130, 148, 164, 169, 171, 

176, 188 
SB on modern painters, 46, 103 
SB on Old Masters, 50-52, 57, 103 
SB vacillates between literature and 

art, 5 in., 7in., i05n. 
SB on difficulty of exhibiting, 83 
his "discoveries" and quarrels in, 

see Bellini, Holbein, Reynolds 
See also entries under artists* 

names, titles of SB's books, and 

Royal Academy of Art 


his taste in. 

2-13, 16-17, 132 

his dislike of liberal and fashionable 

intellectual, 15, 70, 131-132 
his family-like clique of, 15—16, 18 
his confidence in, 17, 150, 171, 

his financial arrangements with, 

17-18, i93n. 
See also entries under names listed 
in Biographical Sketches 

eye trouble, 47, 139, 150, 163, 200 
sprains, 56-57, 60, 62, 71, 73 
colds, 76, 91, 114— 115, 134, 140, 

144-145, 154, 157 
fatigue, 83, 87, 126, 227 
broken rib, 98 
chilblains, 102 
eflfect of "crossing" on, 107 
rheumatism, 117, 118, 237 
headaches, 121, 148 
leg and foot pains, 135, 227, 230, 

"brain fag," 139, 140, 163 
lumbago, 230 
last illness, 243—247 
death, 247n. 

his own writing: style, 6-7; satire, 
9—10, 72; construction of scene, 
15—16; argumentative tone, 25; 
wit, 28-29; and Victorian Age, 
31; dedication to, 5 in., 7 in., 
116; and his family, 62—63, 
65; anticipation of public ver- 
dict on, 66; physically exhaust- 
ing, 86; and profits, 95, i98n.; 
discouragement with, and return 
to painting, i05n. See also entries 
under titles of SB's books 
SB on others' writing: his critical 
criteria, 8-10; his reading, 57, 
58, 61, 71-72, 162; dislike of 
poetry, 79; on the Aesthetes, 
82; on MSS read aloud, 132. 
See also entries under authors' 

and Miss Savage, 18—19 

and bachelorhoods made in heaven, 

SB seeks lady who will cause no 

difficulty in, 203-204 
his view of nephew's, 118— 119 



and his relations with friends, 17- 

18, i93n. 
his dispute with father about, 21 
as basis for his wit, 28-29. See 

also Narcissus 
SB prefers a "pecunious nephew," 

28-29, IJ9 
SB recalls his capital from New 

Zealand, 64 
SB and Canadian speculation, C^n., 

SB and his properties, S^n., 122, 

SB and his brother's finances, 93- 

94, 96, 100, iio-iii, i6j 

SB on profit and loss from writings, 

95, i98n. 

SB on bookkeeping, 129-130 
SB inherits, 173 

SB and charitable request, 222—223 
his oflfer for Anne "Wade, 227 

SB and Victorian tastes in, 31 

SB on Handel, 31, 41, 46, 60, 78- 

79, 86, 88n., 123, 138, 204, 228 
SB on other composers, 35, 46, 52, 

79, 161, 164, 228 
SB on BufFon and, 75 
his writing of (with Jones), 78, 

104, 123, 126, 128, 134, 137- 

138, 150, 160, 161— 162, 194, 

196, 199, 202 
opinions of his and Jones's, 127— 

128, 139, 141, 160, 193, 202, 

SB and "baton affair," 149 
See also entries under composers' 

names, and under titles of SB's 

and Jones's music 
photography, 39, 40, 130, 196, 199, 

202, 205, 206 
SB uses, in work on Ex Voto, 148 

his conservative views on, 4—5, 12, 

57. 70, 75, 76-77, 84-85, 90, 

117, 118, 127, 161, 163—164, 

writing on, as a sure sign of ex- 
haustion, 203 

his intellectual habits in, 7—8 
his personal view of, 24 

SB informed amateur in, 3 1 
SB on: astronomy, 17, 141; nu- 
trition, 47; meteorology, 48, 
122; botany, 72, 112— 114, 129; 
ornithology, 83-84; geology, 
122, 141, 175; numismatics, 
22on.; archaeology, 22on., 236; 
evolutionary theory, see entries 
under Life and Habit, Evolu- 
tion, Old and New, Uncon- 
scious Memory, Luck or Cun- 
ning?, Selections from Previous 
Works, Grant Allen, Charles 
Darwin, and George Romanes 
SB on charlatans in, 8j 
his confidence in Dr. Dudgeon in 
matters of, 176, 177 

SB "shakes off" saying prayers, 1 1 
SB as prophet of new realism, 12 
his bluntness with father about, 14 
SB vs. May on the Gospels, 2j, 


his teleological position on evolu- 
tion, 7on., 77n., 104, 120, I39n. 

SB equates modern scientists and 
old religious fakers, 85n., 104 

his story of boy on "postulates," 

SB on defection to Rome, 124 

Butler, Dr. Samuel (SB's grandfather) 
biographical sketch, xvii 
SB admires, 198 
and SB's irreverence toward Homer, 

214, 216 
See also entries under Life and Letters 
of Dr. Samuel Butler 
Butler, Spencer Percival, SB confused 

with, 194 
Butler, Thomas (SB's father), J9, 100, 
102, 103, 112, 129, 144, 149, 150, 

biographical sketch, xviii 
SB not always hostile toward, 5—6, 

II, 23, 99n. 
May's close association with, 21—22 
satirized as Theobald, 24, y9n., 65 
health, 40, 45, 52, 54, 92, 93, 105, 
108, no, 114, 117, 118, 135, 138- 
139, 142, i4yn., 147, 156, 157- 
158, 161, 168, 170, 172, 174, 17J, 
177, 178, 179, 180-192 


Butler, Thomas {Continued) 

travels of, 56, 75, 76, 83, 163, 165 
his letter to SB on wife's fatal illness, 

his attitude toward SB's writing, 62- 


Shrewsbury School and property of, 

SB sends reviews of Life and Habit 

to, 70; will send reviews of Alps 

and Sanctuaries to, 98 
SB urges to do less preaching, 73 
SB sends sketch to, 89 
and son Tom, 93 
SB asks for photograph of, 130 
on John Lubbock, i38n., 140 
May to explain to, about Tom's 

settlement, 165 
eightieth birthday, 179 
death, i92n. 
Butler, Mrs. Thomas (Fanny Worsley, 

SB's mother) 
biographical sketch, xviii 
satirized as Christina, 24 
health, 44, 48, 58, 60, 61-63 
at Kenilworth, 56 
at Mentone, 5 6n., 58-59 
and SB's writing, 62—63 
death, 63n. 
Butler, Thomas, II (SB's brother), 24, 

49. 53, 54, 136 
biographical sketch, xix 
relationship to SB and family, 22-23 
death, 26, i3 5n. 
at St. John's College, 37 
discovered with mistress in Brussels, 

and family financial arrangements, 

93—94, 96, 100, no— III 

SB worn by death settlement of, 165 
Butler, Mrs. Thomas, II (Henrietta 

Rigby, SB's sister-in-law), 65, 100, 

III, 121, 126, 128, 136, 150, 

168, 213 
SB's brother married, deserted, xix, 

SB to visit, 43 
death of her father, 45 
May visiting, 53 
at Bangor, 56 
and husband's estate, 93, $6, 165, 

Butler, William Henry, Mrs., SB visits 

for information about grandfather, 
Byron, George Gordon, 6th Baron, story 
of sensitivity to death of, 49 

Cagnoni, Antonio, and "baton aflFair," 

Cairns, Hugh McCalmont, ist Earl, 49 
Caldecott, Randolph, "John Gilpin," 74 
Cambridge, publisher at, 217, 233 
Cambridge University, SB seeks Slade 
Professorship at, 158 
Trinity Hall, Jones took B.A. at, xvii 
St. John's College, 40, 105 n.; SB's 
father took B.A. at, xviii; SB at, 
II, 35-38, 71; SB's brother at, 
xix, 37 
Canada, SB's first trip to, 66—67 

second trip to, 67—68 
Canada Tanning Extract Co., 64n., 

Canterbury, Archbishop of, 124 
in The Way of All Flesh, 14 
May at garden party of, 231 
Canterbury Province, New Zealand, 

Capetown, South Africa, 238 

massacre at, 76 
Carate, 203 

Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight, 73 
Carlisle, Bishop of. See Goodwin, 

Carlyle, Thomas, writing made seri- 
ously ill, 86 
estate of, 95 
Carshalton. See Tylor, Alfred 
Castelfranco, 149 
Catania, earthquake at, 219 
Cathie, Alfred Emery, 234 
biographical sketch, xvii 
and SB's family-like coterie, 18 
SB's last words to, 19 
SB hires, i97n., 199 
works with SB, 201, 202, 206, 217 
SB's attitude toward, 209, 212—213 
sees Charles Butler's wife, 228 
and his family, 232, 243 
and Italian visitor, 241 
and SB's last illness, 245-247 
Cats, and SB's limiting responsibility, 
I7n., 151-152 
May's, 108, 115 


SB's, 158, 169, 171-172 
SB's father's, i8y, 189 
Ceylon, 106 

Chamberlain, Joseph, SB at dinner with, 
70, 85 
possible coalition government with, 
Chambery, 230 

Chapin Library, Williamstown, Mass., 
SB's Notebooks in, viii 
SB's letters to Gogin in, xvii 
Chappell's (piano dealers), 39 
Chateau d'Oex, 56 
Chenery, Thomas, ii7n. 
Chester Terrace, London. See Worsley, 

Philip (SB's uncle) 
Chiavenna, 168 

SB awaiting Jones at, 207 
Chichester, Bishop of. See Durnford, 

Chichester Cathedral, 73 
Church, Alfred J., SB and Homeric 

translation of, 215 
Church Stretton, 192 
Clifford's Inn, Fleet Street. See List of 
SB takes up residence at, 3, 42 
Clifton. See Worsley family 
Clodd, Edward, SB visits, 8, 142 
Clumber Park, Notts., 37 
Coates, Mr., 235 
Cobden, Richard, SB dines with his 

daughter, 70 
Coire, 129, 130, 145 
Colchester, fire near prison in, 238—239 
Como, Lake, 68, 203 
Conway, "William Martin, and Holbein 

controversy, 176 
Cook, Edward Tyas, and SB's articles, 

Cooke, William Russell, 195 
Correggio, Antonio Allegri da, SB on, 


Corsica, SB's brother's death on, xix, 
23, i35n. 

Couperin, Frangois, "le Grand," 35 

Coventry, Dr. Butler bishop of, xviii 

Cowes, Marion, 36 

Cowper, William, "John Gilpin," 74 

Craven Scholarship, Cambridge Uni- 
versity, SB competes for, 37 

Cree, Lucy, 104 

Cree, Amy, 106 

Creighton, Mandell, Bishop of London, 
May, SB at garden parties of, 231, 

admires SB's work, 23 2n. 
Cresta, 130 
Crewe, ^y 

Dampier, Christopher Edward, 39 
Dan vers, Mrs. Augustus, 166 

SB dines with, 127, 188, 197 
Darbishire, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur, 137 
Darmesteter, James, asks SB for re- 
view, 104 
Dartford, innkeeper murdered at, 156 
Darwin, Charles, Jones emphasized 
SB's belligerency toward, 6 
SB's long quarrel with, 7-8, 32, 77, 
83n., 91, 116 (effect of Darwin's 
death on), i2in., 138, 155, 156- 

157, I9J 
Times praises, 91 
on intelligence in plants, 115 
Grant Allen's biography of, 152, 

Francis Darwin's biography of, I73n. 
Darwin, Dr. Erasmus, i52n. 

SB champions, as opposed to Charles, 

77, MJn. 
Krause's life of, lyyn., 157, 195 
Darwin, Francis, biography of Charles 

Darwin, i73n. 
Dedington, Miss, 118 
Defoe, Daniel, and Erewhon Revisited, 

Derbyshire, 108 

Dieppe, SB's holidays at, 42n., 43, 64 
Disraeli. See Beaconsfield, Benjamin 

Dobell, Sydney, 79 
Dogpole Home, Shrewsbury, 229 
Doncaster, Mrs. (SB's laundress), 131, 

153, 168 
Donizetti, Gaetano, Don Pasquale, ^in. 
Dorsetshire, 194 
Downward, Miss, 96 
Draper, Mr. and Mrs. William Henry, 
and SB's property, 222-223 
Mrs. Draper publishes May's article, 

Drury Lane, 212 

Ducal Palace, Venice, ji 


Dudgeon, Dr. Robert Ellis, and Luck 
or Cunning?, 176, 177 
SB to consult, 247 
Dudley Gallery, SB submits work to, 


Dufiferin, Lord. See Blackwood, Fred- 
erick Temple Hamilton-Temple- 

Durnford, Richard, Bishop of Chiches- 
ter, SB at Faido with, 167 
SB meets at Varallo, 204 

Egypt, Viceroy of, 49 
Eliot, George, SB on Middle-march, 61 
Tbeophrastus Such like Erewhon, 86 
Ellicott, Charles John, 54 
Elsie. See Phillipson, Mrs. Richard 

Erewhon (1872), 31, i42n. 
satire in, 9—10 
May read, for parents, 25 
concealed autobiographical basis of, 

New Zealand articles basis of, 5 in. 
and SB's family, 61 
and Theophrastus Such, 86 
reviewed in Spectator, z/^in. 
Erewhon Revisited (19 10), SB's deifica- 
tion like Higgs', 4 
reviewed in Athenaeum, Times, 240; 
in Spectator, 240, 242n. 
Essex, and Ladysmith survivor, 243 
Etna, Mount, SB at, 220, 22on. 
Etta. See Butler, Mrs. Thomas, II 
Eurydice, founders in squall, 70 
Eryx, Mount, and SB's topography of 

Odyssey, 220 
Evans (hairdresser) , 206 
"Evidence for the Ressurrection, The" 

(1865), jjn., 6yn. 
Evolution, Old and New (1879), com- 
pared with Life and Habit, jj 
SB puts through press, 78 
reviewed in Athenaeum, 81; by 

Grant Allen in Academy, i^m. 
allusion to, in Fall Mall Gazette, 81- 

Grant Allen on, 142-143, 152 
Ex Yoto (1888), loin. 

SB works on: at Varallo, 146, 195; at 

Varese, 147-148 
sequel to Alps and Sanctuaries, 147 
revision of, 196, 199, 209 
reviewed in Guardian, 199 

and Roman Catholics, 203 

Italian translation of, 203, 204, 209 

Faesch, Hans, and SB's family-like co- 
terie, 18 

Faido, Butler at 68, 71, 166-167 

Fair Haven, The (1873), concealed 
autobiography in, 11, 13-14, 30 
May's objections met in, 25-26 
and The Evidence for the Resurrec- 
tion, 65n. 

Fenis, Castle of, Aosta, 10 in. 

Ferrara, 53 

Ferrari, Gaudenzio, SB at festival for, 

Fiesole, walls of, 5 1 

Fisher, George "William, 40 

Fisher, Harold, in Boer War, 243 

Fitzgerald, James Edward, SB to get in- 
troductions from 38—39 

Fleay, Frederick Gard, SB discussed 
The Way of All Flesh with, 65n. 

Fletcher, Mr. and Mrs. William H., 185 
and Charles Butler, 225 

Florence, SB at, 50-51 

Florida, 235 

Hal to emigrate to, 162 

Folkestone, 227 

Fortnightly Review, 139 

France, Francis, 37 

Eraser, John, 65n. 

Fulham, May at, 79, 231 

Fuller-Maitland, John Alexander, ad- 
mires Narcissus, 202 
and May at concert, 232 
in Sicily, 244—245 

Furbank, P. N., 5 

Gairdner, Dr. William Tennant, attends 
SB at Naples, 247 

Gallarte, Lake of, 148 

Garnett, Richard, 84 

and Alps and Sanctuaries, 98 
seeks Kingsley's reference, 119 
and "Humour of Homer," 217 

Garnett, Mrs. R. S., writes on Harrie, 


Garrison family, 79 

Gavottes, Minuets, Fugues, and Other 
Short Pieces for the Piano (1885), 
dedicated to Miss Savage, xviii, 


SB seeks Arthur Sullivan's opinion 

of, 32, 141 
SB working on, with Jones, 104 
and publisher, 134 
in Handelian manner, 138 
"friendly notice" of, 139 
"Genesis of Feeling, On the" (1887), 

to be delivered, 195 
Genoa, 148, 236 
George, The, Shrewsbury, SB at, 184, 

192, 195, 199, 205, 227 
German language, SB learning, 83n., 

Gilbert, Sir William Shwenck, 82n. 
Giornico, jz 

Giotto, SB admires, at Padua, 5 1 
Gladstone, William Ewart, SB's Aunt 
Sarah on, 29 
defeated, J7n., i6in. 
Millais portrait of, 80 
SB predicts disaster from, 84-85 
and Italian priest, 90 
May on, 100 
Times critical of, 117 
SB on, 161, 163—164 
might be reviewer of "Humour of 
Homer," 21 j 
Glover, Frances Caroline, nee Bridges, 
and SB, 35 
in Chichester Cathedral, 73 
Harrie visits, 168 
Godalming, 17 j, 231 
Goethe, 83n. 

Gogin, Charles, biographical sketch, 
letters to SB, xvii 
drew human figures in A\^% and 

Sanctuaries, 12 
SB valued opinions of, 17, 171 
SB to visit, 120 
pleased with SB's lecture, 193 
on "posthumous works of Handel," 
Goodwin, Harvey, Bishop of Carlisle, 
commends Unconscious Memory, 
Goodwin, Maggie, 73 
Gospels, May's objection to SB's theory 

of, 25-26 
Gozo, 236 

Granby, Notts., 84n., 178 
Grant, Francis, asks SB's opinion of a 
new Rembrandt, 46 

disapproves of SB's painting, 46 
Gravesend, 38, 39, 40 
Gray's Inn, 217 

Gretton, Frederick Edward, 64, 65, 143 
Grosvenor Gallery, London, May at, 

and SB's ownership of Reynolds por- 
trait, III 
Guardian, zz^, 240 

review of Romanes article In, 174 

review of Ex Voto in, 199 
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Bar- 

bieri), SB dislikes, 50 
Guido da Siena, SB dislikes, 50 
Guildford, 103, 175 

Haast, John Francis Julius von, 175 

Haeckel, Ernst, 156—157 

Hall, Alice Elizabeth, 4in., 105, 137, 

141, 178 
Hall, Edward Algernon, 4 in., 10 j 

going to New York, 109 
Hall, George Thomas, 168 
Hall, May, nee Bather, 226 
Hall, Thomas Dickinson, SB to write. 

May visiting, 80 
Hallens, 52 

Hampstead, London, 241 
Handel, George Frederick, SB admires, 

SB on: Alexander's Feast, 41; Judas 
Maccabaeus, 46; Samson, 60; Det- 
tingen Te Deum, 7^-79; Messiah, 
Buff on compared to, 75 
SB's use of, in: Narcissus, 72a., 123; 
Alps and Sanctuaries, 88n.; Ga- 
vottes, 138 
SB plans biography of, 86 
SB's "posthumous works" of, 204 
Harnage, Shrewsbury, 93, 168 

SB at, 200, 205, 209, 221 
Harriet (Harrie). See Bridges, Mrs. 

George Lovibond 
Harrison, Jane Ellen, suspected as re- 
viewer of "Humour of Homer," 
Hartington, Spencer Compton Caven- 
dish, marquis of, i63n. 
Hartmann, Eduard von, SB translates, 

Havre, Le, 106 


Hay, "Walter Cecil, on Narcissus, 193 

Heatherley, Thomas, 81 

SB, Miss Savage students of, xviii 
and SB's study of art, 47, 49, 52, 60, 

confirms SB's Reynolds discovery, 

Heatly, Sarah, death, 178 

Henderson, Philip, j 

Hereford, 224, 226 
May at, 231 

Hering, Karl Ewald Konstantin, and 
Unconscious Memory, 86-87 

Highmoor House, 40 

Hill, Brian, 3 

Hoare, Beatrice Hall, nee Paley, 44 

Hoare, Henry, 44n., j7 

advises SB to speculate, 64n. 

Hodgkinson (butler at Wilderhope), 
108, 119, 208 

Holbein, Hans, the Younger, SB and 
Basel drawing of, i69n., 171, 172- 
173, 176, 188, 207 

Holland, SB returns from, 213 

Homer, Iliad: SB begins study of, 
1 6 in.; learning by heart, 217 
Odyssey: SB's critical ideas about, 
8-9, 31, 207-209, 218-219; SB 
begins study of, 16 in.; SB's trans- 
lation of, 207, 208, 209, 210; SB 
on author and locale of, 207n., 
211, 212, 217, 218-219, 220, 228; 
and review in Spectator, 213-216; 
SB sends translation of, to May, 

Horace, Epistles, 15 y 

Horsburgh, James MacDonald, SB's sci- 
entific "enemy," 125 

Houghton, Lord. See Milnes, Richard 

How, Thomas Maynard, 84, 93, 194— 

wife's death, 242 
"Humor of Homer, A Lecture on the" 
(1892), 211 
authoress theory in, 212 
reviewed: in Spectator, 213-216; in 

Longman's Magazine, 2i8n. 
delivered, 215—216 
pamphlet of, 217 
Hunt (hairdresser), 206 
Huxley, Thomas Henry, 8 5n., 104 

lazzino, and SB's coin, 220 

Illustrated London News, 48n. 

Indian Mutiny, 76 

Inman, Mr., 39 

Inman, Mrs. Thomas Frederick, 234, 

Ireland, 226 

Jackson, Lucy, to visit May, 224 
her nephew in Boer War, 243 
James, Annie, 234 
Jeflfes, Thomas Edward, 93 

reports on Tom's death, 135 
Johnson, Dr. Samuel, SB reminded 

friends of, 17 
Johnstone, John, life of Dr. Parr by, 

Jones, Henry Festing, 124, 144, 152, 
biographical sketch, xvii 
concept of SB in Memoir, 3-6, 20, 

as "fuel" for SB's fire, 13 

his report of first meeting with SB, 

SB valued opinions of, 17, ijo, 193 
SB's financial support of, 18, i93n. 
as SB's musical collaborator, 78n., 

104, 123, 126, 127-128, 134, 137, 

ijo, 158, 160, 161, 193, 196, 201, 

202, 204 
to help with Alps and Sanctuaries, 88 
travels with SB, 80, loi, 128, 131, 

138, 148, 167, 175, 207, 227, 240 
health, 96n., 97-98, loi, 153-154. 

160, 209, 227, 236, 240-241, 242 
as SB's legal adviser, iio-iii 
meets May, 123 

story of his supposed baby, 126 
his fugue "In Memoriam E.M.A.S.," 

Jones, Lilian I. (Jones's sister), nursing 
Jones, 241 

KeganPaul (publishers), 92 
Kenil worth, Warwickshire, SB's mother 
at, 56 
sale proceeds at, 100 
SB at, 199 
Kent, 129 

Keynes, Sir Geoffrey, 3 
King-Martyn. See Martyn, Gilbert John 

Kingsley, Charles, and Romanes-SB 
quarrel, 11 5-1 16, 119 


Klaproth, Jules-Henri, and SB's grand- 
father, 200-20 1 

Koch, Fraulein, 45 

Krause, Ernst, and Darwin-SB quarrel, 
I5J. 157, 195 

Lamarck, Jean Baptiste, Chevalier de, 
and SB's evolutionary theory, 155, 
Lamb, Charles, inspired SB on Odyssey, 

Lang, Andrew, 215 

reviewed "Humour of Homer," 2i8n. 
Langar, Notts., 38, 43, 45n. 

SB's father rector of, xviii, i25n. 
SB's interest in, 25 
SB at, 48 

SB banished from, 62n. 
May revisits, 80 
SB's father revisits, 163 
Lankester, Ray, 85n., 86n. 

in Romanes-SB controversy, 12 in., 

scientific scandal about, 125 
Leamar, Alice, married Charles Butler, 
reappears, 228 
Lee, Sidney, SB's Shakespeare book di- 
rected against, 3 i 
Leighton, Frederick, ist Baron Leigh- 
ton of Stretton, 49 
May likes painting of, 79 
Les Plans, 56 

Lichfield, SB's grandfather bishop of, 
May visits Cathedral at, 97 
Life and Habit (1878), 211 
dedicated to Pauli, xviii 
SB sends reviews of, to father, 70 
and Evolution, Old and New, yy 
SB plans appendix to, 121 
cited, 139, 156-157 
Luck or Cunning? second volume of, 
Life and Letters of Dr. Samuel Butler, 
The (1896), 2o6n. 
and The Way of All Flesh, 24 
progress on, 94, 197-198, 200-201, 
202, 207, 210— 211, 216-217, 218 
cost of, i98n. 

publication of, 210— 211, 2 2on. 
Life's Possibilities, May contributes to, 

Lima, Arthur Vianna de, 156-157 
Linnaean Society, SB attends Alfred 
Tylor's lecture at, i32n. 
Romanes' article in journal of, I74n. 
Lisieux, 107 

Lloyd, Harriet (SB's paternal aunt), 
43n., 47 
death, 82-83 
Lloyd, Jane, 242 
Lloyd, John Bucknall, going to Kansas, 

Lloyd, Mary (SB's cousin) , 43 

with SB's father, 185 
Lloyd, Thomas Bucknall, 47, 198 
Lloyd, William, 47 
Lloyd, William Valentine, 73 
London, Bishop of. See Creighton, Man- 
London School Board, 228 
Long, Edwin, 79n. 

Longman's Magazine, "Humour of 
Homer" reviewed by Lang in, 
Loos, Louis, III 
Louis XIV, 35 

Lubbock, John, SB enemy of, 138 
SB's father unimpressed by, 140 
Luck or Cunning? (1887), progress on, 
112, 116, 150, 155, 157, 160, 165, 
170-171, 173 
and Herbert Spencer, 12 in. 
dedicated to Alfred Tylor, i22n., 133 
as second volume of Life and Habit, 

use of Horace in, 155 
title of, 157 

reviewed: by Bernard Shaw in Vail 
Mall Gazette, i7on.; in Athe- 
naeum, 188 
and Dr. Dudgeon, 176, 177 
and May, 178 

Athenaeum editor's support of, 188 
Lully, Jean Baptiste, and SB and Jones's 

work, 204 
Lytton, Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer- 
Lytton, I St Baron, 49 
Erewhon, and The Coming Race by, 

Maccoll, Norman, 172 

supports SB, 188 
Maes-y-Porth, Wales, 43n., 53 
Maggiore, Lake, 145, 148 


Maloja, 128 

Malta, SB to visit, ij,^-zi6 

Mantegna, Andrea, 74 

Margaret (cook at Wilderhope) , 109 

Marsala, and topography of Odyssey, 

Marshall, Miss, 37 

Martha (housemaid at Wilderhope) , 99 

Martyn, Gilbert John King, 236 
at Bath with May, 234—235 

Marx, Karl, SB's social views vs., 4 

Maull and Polybank (photographers), 
39, 40 

Mendelssohn, Felix, SB dislikes, 46, j^ 

Mendrisio, revolution at, 205 

Mentone, 57n., 165 

SB's family may go to, 43 
SB at, 51, 62n. 
SB's family at, ^6n. 
SB's mother dies at, 62n. 

Meole, Shropshire, 47n., 9^, 226, 231 

Merian, Baron Andreas, and SB's grand- 
father, 200—201, 207 

Mesocco, Switzerland, 80-81 

Metasas, M., 224 

Metcalfe & Co., (publishers), Cam- 
bridge, and "Humour of Homer," 
and Shakespeare's Sonnets, 233 

Michelangelo, SB's view of "Three 
Fates" by, jo 

Middleton, John Henry, ij8 

Milan, loi, 148 

Miles, George Francis, May's opinion 
of, 80 

Miles, Robert Henry William, death, 
wife, 131 

Millais, Sir John Everett, 49, 80 

Milnes, Richard Monckton, ist Baron 
Houghton, on ship with SB, 6y 

Missolonghi, 49 

Mivart, St. George Jackson, and SB and 
Harrie, 75 
reviews of SB's work, 1 19-120, 139 

Moberley, Miss, 52 

Modena, 50 

Moggridge, John Traherne, 52 
SB reads book of, 57 

Moliere, Jean, Le Bourgeois Gentil- 
homme, \zi 

Mont-Saint-Michel, SB's sketches at, 
105, 148 

Pauli and tide at, 165 
Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secon- 

dat, baron de la Brede, et de, 77 
Moorehouse, William Sefton, SB given 

introduction to, 40 
Morell, Thomas, SB and Jones imitate 

his libretti, 123 
Morris, Pollie, 164 
Morris, William, 82n. 
Morrison, Jas., and Co., London, 38 
Morse, Francis, 125 
Morse, Mrs. (Alfred Tylor's daughter), 

Moss, Henry, 24 

and Narcissus at Shrewsbury School, 

to be married, 178 
his advice on Dr. Butler, 210— 211 
wife visits May, 238 
Mount, Francis John, SB meets in Italy, 

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 228 
Muggeridge, Malcolm, and stereotype of 

SB, 4-5 
Mundella, Anthony, 85 
Munich, 52 

Murray, John, and Dr. Butler, 211 
Murray's guidebook, 90 

Naples, SB at, 246—247 
Narcissus (1888), 28, 29 
Handelian effect in, 78n. 
progress on, 104, 123, 126, 127, 

i5on., 158, 172, 175, 193 
opinions of 127—128, 160, 193, 202 
performances of, 152, 160, 175, 207 
National Gallery, London, 121 
National Portrait Gallery, London, Go- 
gin portrait of SB in, xvii 
Nature, 86n. 

review of Unconscious Memory and 

SB's reply in, 95n. 
SB on Romanes' wrong reference to, 

115— 116 
and Lankester "scandal," i2 5n. 
Naunton, Walter William, 205 
Nearwell, 242 
Needham, Frederick, 39 
Needham, John Manning, wrote intro- 
ductions for SB, 39 
Newbury, Charles Butler writes to, 225 
Newfoundland, 67 
Newhaven, 42 


Newton, Mr., 39 

New Zealand, 130, 159, i75n. 

SB met Pauli in, xviii 

SB's return from, 3, 42n. 

effect on SB of, 11-14, 18—19 

SB's preparations for going to, 27, 

Erewhon based on writings in, 5 in. 
Nineteenth Century, Harvey Goodwin's 

article in, 91 
Normandy, SB did not like, 107 
Northampton, M.P. from, 100 
Northamptonshire, 45 
"Not on Sad Stygian Shore," 3 1 
Notebooks, SB's, "wicked" jokes about 
family in, 2 1 

ideas and everyday details juxtaposed 
in, 25 
Nottingham, 125 

May visits museum at. Son. 
Nottinghamshire, May's affection for, 

No vara, 148 
Novello, Ewer & Co. (publishers), and 

Gavottes, 134, 137, 141 

Once a Week, SB urges May to write 

for, 45 
Oppenheim family, 102 
Oropa, 92 

Padua, 51, loi 

Paget, Henry Marriott, 8 in. 

Paine, Edith, 13 on. 

Paine, Thomas, Jones resigns from firm 
of, 193 

Palermo, 236 

Butler at, 243-246 

Palestine, 102 

Paley, George Alfred, 40 
SB doing portrait of, 44 

Paley, "William, SB delighted with 
Natural Theology by, jy 

Pall Mall Gazette, Bernard Shaw's re- 
view of Luck or Cunning? in, 
SB meets editor of, 204 

Palmer, Edward Henry, SB's father 
reading biography of, 105—106 

Paris, 230 

Parlement, Le, 104 

Parma, 50 

Parnell, Charles Stewart, commission 

on criminal conspiracy of, 197, 
Parr, Samuel, Dr., and SB's grandfather, 

Parry, Elizabeth Barwick, 36, 37 
Patteson, John Coleridge, Bishop of the 

Melanesian Islands, 41 
Pauli, Charles Paine, biographical 
sketch, xviii 
and SB's family-like coterie, 18 
SB's financial arrangements with, 18, 

SB on holiday with, 42 
to vote Conservative with SB, 57 
at Mont St. Michel, 16 j 
People, The, "friendly notice" of Ga- 
vottes in, 139 
Perring, Philip, SB visits, 39, 40 
Pesio, 209 

Phillipson, Mrs. Richard Burton (Eliza- 
beth [Elsie] Butler, SB's niece) , 
8j, 100, 128, 134, 148, 163, 
biographical listing, xvii 
one of SB's favorites, 63 
and Harrie, 213 

and May, 221, 225-226, 238 
marriage of, 224, 226, 242 
Physicus, Romanes writes under name 

of, 119 
Piatti, Alfredo Carlo, 164 
Piggott, Richard, and Parnell, 202n., 

Pitti Palace, Florence, 50-51 
Portsmouth, 225 
Po Valley, i48n. 

Powell, Sir Richard Douglas, 241 
Prato, SB's sketch and the contadina, 

Preston Montford, Shropshire, 82 
Puicernas family, changed name to 

Butler, 94 
Punch, notice of Alps and Sanctuaries 
in, 98 

Quebec, SB at, 66-67 

Raphael, 30, 50 

Redfarn and Banham (tailors), Cam- 
bridge, 40 

Refardt, Elizabeth, 207 

Reggio di Calabria, SB at, 224, 235- 


Rembrandt, 46, yo 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, SB buys painting 

by, III 
Rice, James, SB reads novel by, ySn. 
Richter, Hans, May at concert of, 231 
Rigby, Henrietta. See Butler, Mrs. 

Thomas, II 
Rimmel, Eugene, 52—53 
Rippel, Nikolaus, and Holbein, 16911., 

Roberts, Dr., 45 
Robinson, Albert Gossage, May to visit, 

Rogers (butler at Wilderhope), suc- 
ceeds Hodgkinson, 136, 137 
with SB's father, 179, 181, 191, 

compared to Etoneus, 208 
Roman Emperor, 38n. 
Romanes, George John, SB's quarrel 
with, 32, 115-116, 119, 121, 125, 
SB and review of Unconscious Mem- 
ory by, 95n. 
SB at lecture by, 117 
new work by, 174 
Rome, 244, 246 

Rope, H. J., attends SB's father, 189 
Rosa, Mount, 148 

Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, SB dislikes, 103 
Rossetti, William, "at home" given by: 
SB's account of, 20-21, 131-132; 
May's reply, 20—21, 13 3n. 
Rothschild family, 102 
Rowley's station, New Zealand, 42 
Royal Academy of Art, Gogin exhib- 
ited at, xvii 
SB submits work to, 31, 52, 60, 70, 

soiree at, 48-49 
SB at exhibitions of, 57, 127 
May at exhibition of, 79-80 
rejects most pictures submitted, 83 
Royal Institution of Great Britain, 125 

Romanes' lecture at, 117 
Rubens, Peter Paul, 5 1 
Ruskin, John, Seven Lamps of Architec- 
ture, 7, 7 1 

Saas, 204 

Sacro Monte, i47n., 148, I49n., 167 

St. Albans, 165-166 

St. James' Gazette, 9 5 

St. John's College, Cambridge. See Cam- 
bridge University 
St. John's College, New Zealand, SB 

examines, 42 
St. Mark's Church, Venice, 5 1 
St. Moritz, 128, 129 
Salisbury, 231 
Salisbury, Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquis of, 

Salter, Samuel James Augustus, shared 
SB's interest in botany, 114 
SB with, 124 

tells SB of Lankester "scandal," 125 
Sammichele, SB at, 92 

priests at, delighted with Alps and 
Sanctuaries, 98 
San Ambrogio. See Sant'Ambrogio 
San Niccolo da Mira, Giornico, church 

of, SB sketches, 72 
San Pietro, 89, loi, 230, 237 
San Remo, 56 
Sant'Ambrogio, 88, 230 

SB at, 89-90, 237 
Sargans, 130, 145, 146 
Savage, Eliza Mary Ann, biographical 
sketch, xviii 
SB's relationship with, 17, 18-19, 32, 

67n., 68n., 136—137, I45n. 
SB's letters to, 28-29, 67n., 68n., 

69n., 74n., 83n., 144 
death, 136-137 
memorial fugue for, 137 
Seebohm, Henry, SB prefers, to fashion- 
able people, 16, 132 
Selections from Previous Works (1884), 
112, 119 
announcement of, 116 
contains chapter on Romanes, 116 
Selwyn, George Augustus, Bishop of 
New Zealand, 42n. 
statue of, in Lichfield Cathedral, 97 
Sesia, Valley of, SB at, 145, 146 
Severn River, 229 

story of English Bridge over, 239 
Shakespeare, SB's sonnets to Miss Savage 
in the style of, xviii 
SB preferred sonnets to plays of, 10 
Shakespeare's Sonnets Reconsidered 

(i899)» 3i» 233 

Sharpe, Richard Bowdler, SB questions 
on ornithology, 84n. 

Shaw, George Bernard, critically evalu- 
ated SB, 4 


reviewed Luck or Cunning}, 17011. 
Shelton, Shrewsbury, 237 
Shere, May at, 225, 231 
Sherington, Miss, 43 
Sherrington, Josephine, SB meets, 201 
Shoreham, W. Sussex, 120 
Shrewsbury, Son., 104, 123, 134, 140, 
163, 187 

SB's father retires to, xviii, 22, Son. 

and May, xix, 22 

Harrie returns to, xix, 23 

SB enjoys daily affairs of, 25 

town hall burns at, 91—92 

twine factory at, 96 

May opens home for girls at, 99, 108, 
no, 161 

museum opens at, 140 

fall of tower and gate (154J) at, 

See also List of Letters 
Shrewsbury School, 3 5n., 370., 4on., 
SB's grandfather headmaster of, 

xviii, 22 
SB satirized but visited regularly, 2 5 
plans to move, 64 

SB at dinners for alumni of, 86, 159 
performance of Narcissus at, 17 jn., 

177, i78n., 193 
SB and Speech Days, at 217-218, 
219, 237 
Sichel, Edith, 232 
Sicily, and SB's theory of Odyssey, 211 

SB in, 235-236, 243-246 
Sidebotham, Edith (Mrs. Albert Gos- 

sage Robinson), 231 
Sieber, Ludwig, SB with, 207 
Sims, Mrs., 132 
Skerbekly (messenger from Alfred Ty- 

lor), 133 
Skinner (hairdresser), 2o6n. 
Slade Professorship, Cambridge Uni- 
versity, SB seeks, 158 
Smith, Horatio (Horace), SB meets 

daughter of, 61 
Soazza, 145 
Soglio, 129 
Somersetshire, 194 
Sotherne, Mr., 94 

Spectator, review of "Humour of Ho- 
mer" in, 213-216 
review of Erewhon Revisited in, 
24on., 242n. 

review of Erewhon in, 242n. 
Spencer, Herbert, his books beginning 
to be profitable, 9 y 
supports SB in Romanes quarrel, 121 
Stafford, 97 
Standard, review of Life and Habit in, 

Stead, William Thomas, 204 
Stepney, London, 100 
"Subdivision of the Organic World into 
Animal and Vegetable, The," 
(1887), SB planning lecture on, 
lecture postponed, i87n. 
lecture delivered, 193 
Sullivan, Sir Arthur Seymour, SB seeks 

his opinion of Gavottes, 32, 141 
Surrey, SB and elections in, 1 27 
Sutton, Shropshire, 99 
Swift, Jonathan, compared to SB, 9 

and Erewhon Revisited, i/^on. 
Syracuse, 236 

Taormina, SB at, 235-236 

Tate Gallery, London, May at, 231 

Taviton Street, London. See Worsley, 

Philip (SB's uncle) 
Taylor, John Ellor, SB on his Sagacity 

and Morality of Plants, 115 
Tchaikovsky, Piotr Ilich, May likes 

work of, 231 
Teck, Prince of. See Alexander, Francis 

Paul Charles Louis 
Tennyson, Alfred Lord, SB and: "Love 
and Duty," 44; "To H. R. H. 
Princess Beatrice," 144 
Thackeray, William M., letters of, vs. 

SB's, 12 
Thomas, Bertha, 149 
with SB in Italy, 145 
SB at her "pranzo sociale," 152 
"Thought and Language" (1890), 201- 

Thurlow, Edward Thurlow, ist Baron, 

Tillbrook, Philip Limborch, 2 34n. 

SB to call on, 206 
Times, London, 194 

SB will send to Harrie, 43 
praises Darwin, 9 1 
critical of Gladstone, 117 
new editor of, 117 
and Parnell, i97n., 202 


Times, London (Continued) 
Jones meets music critic of, 202 
May subscribes to, 23 j 
review of Erewhon Revisited in, 
Titian, 50, 103 

Tozer, William George, Bishop of Hon- 
duras, 104 
Trapanese Origin of the Odyssey, The 

(1893), 2i2n. 
Trapani, confirmation of SB's theory 
from, 212 
"Humour of Homer" translated at, 

SB at, 219 
and coin, 22on. 
Trench, Richard Chenevix, 54 
Trubner, Nicholas (publisher), and 
SB, 119 
SB encourages, to publish Grant 

Allen, 143 
lists Luck or Cunning} first, 171 
Truth, reviews in: of Life and Habit, 
7on.; of Alps and Sanctuaries, 
Tudor, Henry & Sons (brokers), 63n. 
Tudor, John, 64 
Turbutt, Edith, and Draper family, 

Turin, 50, 88-89, 230 
Tylor, Alfred, SB prefers, to fashion- 
able people, 16, 132 
Luck or Cunning} dedicated to, 

i2 2n. 
SB visits, 124-125, 133, 140 
death, 133-134 
his book supports SB, 176 
Tyndall, John, Sjn., 104 
Typewriter, SB begins to use, 152-153 
Alfred uses, 201, 202 

Uffizi Gallery, 50 

Uganda, King of, 243 

Ulysses (1904), inception of , 161— 162 

overture written for, 196 

progresses slowly, 199, 202 
Unconscious Memory (1880), 116 

progress on, 82, 86n., 88 

SB learns German for, 83n. 

commended, 91 

and Darwin, 91, I5 5n. 

abused, 95 

reviewed by Romanes, 95n. 

not announced by Athenaeum and 
Academy, 116 

Spencer supports, 121 
Universal Review, SB's article on Hol- 
bein in, i69n. 

"A Sculptor and a Shrine" in, 196 

SB's articles in, used as travel guide, 

Vaillant, Gabrielle, 20 in. 

nurses Jones, 209 
Valduggia, 146 
Valtellina, 146, 207, 209 
Van Dyck, Anthony, 5 1 
Varallo, 147, 148, 195, 209 

SB at, 145—146, 204 
Varese, 146 

SB at, 147-148, 167 
Venice, 6in., loi, 230 

SB at, 50-52 
Ventnor, Isle of Wight, 7on. 

SB and Harrie at, 64, 73 

Harrie at, 168, 213 
Ver acini, Francesco Maria, SB on, 164 
Verona, i27n., 148 

SB at, 107, 230 
Vice, 90 
Vicenza, 149 
Victoria, Queen, 124 

birthday, 225 

Jubilee, 225 

death, 239 
Victorianism, and SB, 4,31 
Viso, Mount, 148 
Von Haast, John Frances Julius, 175 

Wade, Anne, 81, 89 

SB does portrait for, 164-165 

ill, 227, 229, 234-235 
Wagner, Richard, May likes work of, 

Wales, 43n., 53 

explosion in, 49n. 

SB's father and, 83 

Dick and Elsie visit, 238 
Wallis, Henry, SB meets, 46 
Wassen (Wasen), 69, 226 
Waterhouse, Ellis, 11 in. 
Way of All Flesh, The (1903), Pauli 
model for Towneley in, xviii, 19 

SB discouraged about, 6, 7 in. 

imaginative metaphors in, 8 

SB compared to Ernest in, 11, 14 


and financial friendships, 17 
relationship with family in, 20, 23, 

Mrs. Garnett and family relations in, 

its form expressed SB's conflicting 

emotions, 2j, 30, 32 
May's letters and Charlotte's in, 26 
SB lies to May about, 29-30, 65-66 
Bather's Bridge first name for Theo- 
bald's parish in, 47x1. 
Missolonghi and Christina in, 4911. 
and Ready Money Mortiboy, jSn. 
SB's father on wife's death and Theo- 
bald in, 59n. 
SB's theory of "crossing" in, io7n. 
Wellington, Shropshire, 97 
Westcott, Brooke Foss, 54 
Whatton. See Hall, Thomas Dickinson 
Whitehall, Shrewsbury. See Lloyd, Har- 
Wigan, railway accident at, 65 
Wight, Isle of. See Ventnor 
Wilde, Oscar, SB's book on Shakespeare 
intended to refute, 31 
SB, sunflowers, and, 82n. 
Wilderhope House. See Shrewsbury, and 

List of Letters 
Windsor Castle, 49 
Wood, Mrs., taken to asylum, 235 
Woodcock, Mr., 100 
Woods, Forests, and Land Revenues, 
Commissioners of Her Majesty's, 
and Tom Butler, 49 
Working Men's College, London, SB's 
lectures at: "The Subdivision of 
the Organic World into Animal 
and Vegetable," 170, i87n., 193; 
"Thought and Language," 201— 
202; "The Humour of Homer," 
211, 215 
Worsley, Alice (SB's cousin), xx 
Worsley, Bessie (SB's maternal aunt), 
biographical listing, xx 
legacy of, 220 
death, 22on. 

Worsley, John (SB's maternal uncle), 

134. 147 
biographical listing, xix 
typhoid at home of, 100 
failing, 158-159 
estate of, 173 
Worsley, Philip (SB's cousin) , on un- 
cle's will, 173 
Worsley, Philip (SB's maternal uncle), 
38n., 43, 75n. 
biographical sketch, xix— xx 
SB visits: on Taviton St., 38, 40, 45, 
57; on Chester Terrace, 117, 137, 
receives inheritance, 173 
Worsley, Mrs. Philip (Annie Taylor), 

married SB's uncle, xix 
Worsley, Philip John (SB's maternal 

grandfather) , xviii 
Worsley, Reginald (SB's cousin), 134 
biographical listing, xx 
and "Jones's baby," 126 
traveling with SB, 131, 175, 192 
on rehearsal of Narcissus, 1 60 
tells SB of uncle's will, 173 
Worsley, Richard (SB's cousin), xx, 

Worsley, Samuel (SB's maternal uncle), 

receives inheritance, 173 
Worsley, Sarah (SB's maternal aunt), 
biographical listing, xx 
SB's report of, 29 
typhoid at home of, 100 
receives inheritance, 173 
May to visit, 231 
must move, 233 
Wynne, Sarah Anne, SB finds letters of, 

York, 226 

Zanetta family, SB finds gone from 

Arona, 145 
Zimmern, Helen, 149 
SB with, 145, 152 
Zionism, and proposal to SB, 102 





Date Due 
Returned Due 


The correspondence of Samuel B main 

3 lEbE D33D7 ESIE